Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee called Wednesday for President Biden to withdraw his nominations for pending appointees who have expressed support for calls to "defund" the police or publicly criticized law enforcement entities in the past.
In a letter addressed to Biden, ranking member Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and his GOP colleagues noted that two nominees set to be considered by the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday – Solomon Greene and Julia Gordon – have made "troubling statements" about law enforcement.
The senators said Biden should pull his nominations to demonstrate his administration is "truly serious about distancing itself from radical anti-police movements" amid surging crime rates in major cities.
"Mr. Greene and Ms. Gordon’s statements disparaging police officers and advocating for defunding the police are deeply disappointing and call into question their fitness to serve in senior positions in the federal government," the senators wrote. "Police officers put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect us. They deserve to be supported—not maligned—by federal officials."
Greene and Gordon are nominated for posts in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. If confirmed, Greene would serve as assistant secretary for policy development and research at HUD, while Gordon would serve as assistant secretary for the office of housing and commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration.
Aside from Toomey, other notable signatories on the letter include Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Sen. John Kennedy, R-La.
The senators pointed to a June 2020 article Greene co-authored for the Urban Institute in which he argued that "too many families of color live in neighborhoods suffering from disinvestment, deprived of quality services and amenities, and endangered by over-policing."
The lawmakers also cited a post that appeared to have been deleted from Greene’s Twitter account in which he wrote, "no more money for the police."
Additionally, the lawmakers cited a letter written by Gordon in July 2020 while she served as president of the National Community Stabilization Trust, in which they assert she argued police departments were systemically racist.
Republican lawmakers have long argued that calls among progressive Democrats to cut police budgets following nationwide protests against racial injustice contributed to a spike in crime rates in major cities.
The Biden administration has attempted to distance itself from the "defund the police" movement, releasing an anti-crime plan earlier this year that would allow local governments to use COVID-19 relief funds to hire more police officers, among other measures.
The GOP members of the banking committee were critical of Biden’s decision earlier this year to back Kristen Clarke for a key role in the Justice Department despite her public support to cut police funding. Clarke was confirmed to her post earlier this year in a party-line vote.
"The decision to nominate individuals with troubling anti-police positions, such as Ms. Clarke, Mr. Greene, and Ms. Gordon, undermines the credibility of your administration’s claim to support America’s law enforcement officers," the lawmakers said.