President Biden on Friday nominated Christi Grimm to be inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services more than a year after former President Trump removed her from a similar role.
The move is not a surprise because Mr. Biden in January elevated back her to the acting inspector general for HHS within days of taking office. If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Grimm would lose the “acting” from her title.
She will be responsible for investigating waste, fraud and abuse at HHS, including its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In May 2020, Mr. Trump removed her as acting HHS inspector general after her office released a report critical of the administration’s handling of the coronavirus. The report found shortages in testing and personal protective gear at hospitals during the pandemic.
Ms. Grimm’s removal came after a month of steady criticism for her report. At an April 2020 press conference, Mr. Trump noted Ms. Grimm was a holdover from the Obama administration and said her report was politically biased.
He also attacked her on Twitter saying she didn’t talk to the people in charge of providing equipment and accusing her of ignoring former President Obama’s handling of the H1N1 Swine Flu virus in 2009.
Ms. Grimm is a career investigator who joined the HHS inspector general’s office in 1999 under former President Clinton.
At the time of her removal, the HHS OIG said that Ms. Grimm would remain as principal deputy inspector general. But she no longer would serve as acting HHS inspector general.
The Trump administration nominated Jason Weida, an assistant United States attorney in Boston, to be the permanent inspector general. But he was never confirmed by the Senate and didn’t even receive a hearing by the then-GOP controlled chamber.
Shortly after taking office, Mr. Biden named Ms. Grimm to again serve as acting HHS inspector general.
Also on Friday, Mr. Biden nominated former Rep. Xocitl Torres Small, New Mexico Democrat, to serve as undersecretary of rural development at the Department of Agriculture. The granddaughter of migrant farmworkers, Ms. Torres Small served on the House Agriculture Committee during her only term in congress.
Ms. Torres Small lost her reelection bid last year.
Mr. Biden on Friday also nominated:
— Laura Daniel-Davis to serve as assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the Department of Interior.
— Camillie Calimlin Touton, a former congressional staffer and water policy expert, to serve as commissioner in the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation.
— Hampton Dellinger, son of former acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger and former deputy attorney general in North Carolina, to be the Justice Department’s assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Policy.