President Joe Biden campaigned for president on a platform of moderation and civility. Both went out the door within 48 hours of inauguration when the new president ushered in an era of divisive far-left social policy handed down by executive order. The president opened last fall’s midterm cycle with a speech from hell deriding political opponents as existential threats to democracy itself.
Biden’s latest nominees facing Senate confirmation showcase the administration’s pledge to appease the Democrats’ far-left base. On Tuesday, the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee considered a slate of nominations for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). One nominee in particular, Solomon Jeffrey Greene, who was appointed assistant secretary, has a long history of calls for defunding the police. As assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Greene would be responsible for policy surrounding the security of public housing.
“Here’s another idea,” Greene wrote in a since-deleted tweet three years ago, “imagine if the money used to pay the salaries of police officers who endlessly patrol public housing buildings and harass residents can be used to fund plans that residents design to keep themselves safe.’ No More Money for the Police.”
As communities picked up the pieces from weeks of the most destructive outbreak of civil unrest in recent American history, Greene once again derided the police.
“Too many families of color live in neighborhoods suffering from divestment, deprived of quality services and amenities, and endangered by overpolicing,” Greene wrote for the Urban Institute in June 2020. “Reversing these inequities requires more than recapturing funding from policing.”
When a federal building in Portland became the target of a left-wing insurrection endangering HUD employees, Greene shared a story from Vox headlined, “Violent protests are not the story. Police violence is.” Greene also deleted that post.
The anti-police rhetoric lead the National Association of Police Organizations to protest Greene’s confirmation. Greene’s “significant record” of “antipolice bias,” the group wrote to lawmakers last month, “should disqualify him for a prominent role in the federal government.”
“We want to move forward with improving our relationship with our communities and enhance their trust in our profession, but if such sentiments are held by high-ranking members [of] federal government, this will be difficult to do,” the organization added.
Democrats on the Senate Housing and Urban Affairs Committee sought to dismiss Greene’s record of calling for divestment in law enforcement.
“I do not support defunding the police,” Greene told Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who asked the question point blank.
“Talk about defunding the police today is a distraction; my colleagues know that,” Brown said.
Pennsylvania Democrat Sen. John Fetterman asked Greene again.
“The chairman was really drilling down on it, but I really just want to put a sharper, sharper point on it,” Fetterman said, stumbling in his speech. “You do not embrace at all the defunding police, correct?”
“I do not, senator,” Greene said.
The committee’s Republican ranking member, Tim Scott of South Carolina, pressed Greene on the nominee’s past remarks.
“Those are your comments; those are your retweets,” Scott said. “But I’m not going to politicize that issue because I think there are other issues that are incredibly important.”