May 11, 2022

Toomey Opposes Gordon for FHA

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today urged his colleagues to oppose the nomination of Julia Gordon for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner.

Pointing to Ms. Gordon’s public statements denigrating the police and disparaging elected officials, Senator Toomey said Ms. Gordon’s anti-police views and hostility toward those with different political views should disqualify her from holding a senior leadership position at HUD.

In August 2021, Ranking Member Toomey and all Republican members on the Committee sent a letter urging President Joe Biden to withdraw Ms. Gordon’s nomination.

Ranking Member Toomey’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

Mr. President, I rise today to speak on the nomination of Julia Gordon to serve as HUD Assistant Secretary and Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA.

Under President Biden inflation has risen to an astounding 40 year high. But inflation isn’t the only thing rising under President Biden’s watch. So is violent crime.

Many cities across the country saw a rise in murders last year, continuing a surge in the national homicide rate to its highest level in over two decades. We are facing a crime wave. But how have local Democrat leaders responded?

Radical prosecutors have recommended lenient sentencing for violent felons and are even declining to prosecute some offenses. Some states have adopted so-called “bail reform” that kept offenders from jail entirely. And we can’t forget Democrat efforts to defund the police.

Police have been vilified these last two years. And what’s been the result? Shootings, assaults, and killings of police officers have been on the rise since 2020. Budget cuts have forced veteran police officers into retirement. And municipalities are having trouble finding new police recruits.

We need to do everything we can to support our police who risk their lives to keep us safe.

Despite these horrifying developments, the administration has repeatedly nominated individuals with strong, anti-police views. Let’s consider some examples.

Federal district court judge nominee Nusrat Choudhury—an ACLU lawyer—has falsely claimed that “cops kill unarmed Black men in America every single day.” When Senator Kennedy confronted her two weeks ago about this demonstrably false anti-police statement she defended it as “rhetorical advocacy.”

In addition, multiple Biden administration nominees have expressed support for defunding the police, including HUD nominee Solomon Greene and Department of Justice nominees Kristen Clarke and Vanita Gupta. And with National Police Week starting this Sunday, what a terrible message the Senate is sending to law enforcement by having voted yesterday to confirm Lisa Cook for the Federal Reserve.

Professor Cook publicly called for the firing of a professor because he dared to criticize the defund the police movement. She encouraged donations to the very bail funds that were helping criminals get out of jail during the riots after George Floyd was killed. She also insulted U.S. police officers by comparing their actions to the “heavy handed tactics” of Russian police.

To make matters worse, now the Senate is being asked to confirm Julia Gordon for FHA Commissioner. Ms. Gordon has a history of troubling statements denigrating the police. Among other things, she retweeted an inflammatory post that described police officers as “the people killing us.”

She also suggested in a letter that she wrote —not a tweet or a retweet — that cases of police violence are not just outliers but “stem from flawed and biased systems that require structural change.”

Ms. Gordon’s insinuation that the institution of policing itself requires structural change because police officers are racist is offensive and, in my view, disqualifies her from holding a senior position in the federal government. My view is shared by the National Sheriffs’ Association—a leading law enforcement group—which has publicly opposed her nomination.

Ms. Gordon has also spread caustic rhetoric about her fellow Americans residing in southern states. She retweeted an article that asserted that the South “has rejected nearly everything that’s good about this country and has become just one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment.”

And she has repeatedly disparaged elected Republican officials, including Senator Graham, Senator Paul, and Former Vice President Pence. Having spread such partisan views, it’s hard to imagine her working cooperatively with both parties in Congress to help all American households.

Unfortunately, we don’t know the full extent of Ms. Gordon’s public statements because she deleted some of her previously public tweets before being nominated. I asked her to try to recover her deleted tweets from Twitter. But she refused to comply with this reasonable request. It makes you wonder: What does she have to hide?

During the nomination process, Ms. Gordon has tried to walk back her past statements. But I think we should focus on what she said before she was nominated and was seeking the Senate’s approval.

I'm reminded of something the poet Maya Angelou said: "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." That's good advice when it comes to nominees, especially Ms. Gordon.

If Ms. Gordon’s anti-police views and hostility toward one party are not sufficient for some of my colleagues to oppose her, I urge them to look at her record on housing policy. Despite record home and rental prices, Ms. Gordon advocates for throwing more taxpayer money at the housing market.

It’s government intervention that caused massive inflation in the housing market. The last thing the housing market needs are more demand-side subsidies.

As we prepare to start National Police Week this Sunday, I urge my colleagues to stand up for law enforcement by opposing Julia Gordon. And I ask President Biden to nominate a less radical nominee—someone who supports the police, can garner bipartisan support, and won’t exacerbate rising housing costs.