December 07, 2021

Brown Chairs Nomination Hearing

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, delivered the following opening statement at today’s hearing on the nominations of Ms. Parisa Salehi to be Inspector General Export Import Bank; and Mr. Brian Michael Tomney to be Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency:

Sen. Brown’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, follow:

The Committee meets today to consider the nominations of: 

Parisa Salehi to be Inspector General of the Export-Import Bank; and

Brian Tomney to be Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

We congratulate the nominees and thank them for appearing here today, and for their willingness to serve in these important roles.

I also want to welcome their families and friends in attendance and watching from home.

It’s so important that the Biden administration is working to fill inspectors general vacancies. These positions are vital to making our government work for people, and to ensuring tax dollars are put to good use for the people we serve.

The Trump administration took unprecedented steps to undermine IGs across the executive branch. They either sidelined them, or fired them without cause, simply for doing their jobs—for showing independence and pursuing the facts.   

Through audits, evaluations, and investigations, inspectors’ general offices play pivotal roles in uncovering abuse, waste, and fraud – ensuring American taxpayer dollars are protected.

The nominees today possess the independence, honesty, and integrity – qualities we all want and expect in an inspector general – they need to take on these critical roles.

And both nominees appearing before us today are clearly qualified.

Ms. Salehi currently serves as the Chief of Staff to the Inspector General of the Department of State where she assists the IG on enterprise risk management and oversees the Congressional and public affairs sections of the IG office. Prior to joining the State Department, Ms. Salehi served in the USAID inspector general office.  

Previously, Ms. Salehi spent more than four years at EXIM-OIG, serving in various roles, including as Acting Inspector General from 2018 to 2019. If confirmed, she would be rejoining an office she is very familiar with, and her experience with the Bank’s charter and its operations will enhance her office’s work.   

When Ms. Salehi served as the Acting EXIM Inspector General, my office found that she was very responsive to requests when we needed additional information concerning her office’s investigations and reports. 

EXIM is vital to manufacturers both in Ohio and throughout the country. It will be Ms. Salehi’s job to help ensure that the bank is working efficiently. And she will help the Bank comply fully with its charter and other statutory requirements. She is well prepared to step into this job immediately.

Welcome to the Committee, Ms. Salehi.

From 2006 to 2017, Mr. Tomney served in various roles at the Department of Justice. From 2006 to 2009, he served as a Trial Attorney in DOJ’s criminal division, where he investigated drug trafficking and narco-terror organizations.

From 2009 to 2014, Mr. Tomney served as Counsel for Rule of Law in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, where he engaged with teams of federal prosecutors and attorneys in efforts to root out corruption and support the rule of law in Afghanistan and Iraq. He went on to serve in several roles, including Associate Deputy Attorney General.

Mr. Tomney has a proven commitment to service, even in the toughest situations – early in his career, he spent more than a decade as a paramedic and firefighter.

He will bring those same values with him to this job, ensuring that FHFA is working for all homeowners and renters.

Welcome to the Committee, Mr. Tomney. We are glad to have you here today.

Thank you to the nominees for your willingness to serve. I look forward to your testimonies today.