Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I, along with Senator Mark Kirk, intend to object to proceeding to the nomination of Richard Berner to head the Office of Financial Research within the Department of the Treasury.
We will object to proceeding to the nomination because the Department of the Treasury has refused to respond to a letter Senator Kirk and I sent on October 2, over 6 weeks ago, regarding the Treasury Secretary's actions when he became aware of the manipulation of the London Interbank Overnight Rate, or LIBOR. The Department has also refused to provide the documents we requested.
In addition, my staff has, on several occasions, attempted to schedule briefing times that are convenient for the Department. The Treasury Department has cancelled each of these briefings and failed to cooperate in rescheduling at a mutually agreeable time.
Because everything from home mortgages to credit cards was pegged to LIBOR, its manipulation affects almost every American. Given the widespread effects of this manipulation, it is disturbing to see that the Treasury Department has thus far refused to answer basic questions and provide essential documents.
It is critical for Congress to be able to ask questions and to have access to administration documents in order to conduct vigorous and independent oversight. It is unfortunate that this administration, which has pledged to be the most transparent in history, consistently falls short of that goal.