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Public Statements

Executive Session

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, shortly, I hope, we will be voting on the confirmation of Jack Lew to be the next Secretary of the Treasury, and I urge my colleagues to support that nomination. He is the right person at the right time to be Secretary of the Treasury. He has devoted his entire life to public service. I thank him for that, and I thank him for his willingness to continue to serve his Nation. He has a great record of accomplishment.

I have known Jack Lew for 26 years. I have served with him on common issues, and I want to bring to the attention of my colleagues some of the things he has done. He first served in the House of Representatives as a staff person for Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill. In that capacity, one of the responsibilities he had was to be the liaison to the commission that was working on Social Security reform when President Reagan was President of the United States. I mention that because I think we all point to that time when a Democratic-controlled Congress and a Republican administration were able to deal with one of the most difficult challenges of the time, the solvency of Social Security, and they were able to come together with a bipartisan product. Jack Lew's fingerprints were involved in that transaction. He was able to bring us together. We need that type of person as Secretary of the Treasury today, a person who will bring together our Nation with the type of fiscal policy that Democrats and Republicans can rally behind as we look for a solution to our fiscal issues.

He was President Clinton's OMB Director, and during that time we balanced the Federal budget. We were able to do something that has only been done once in my lifetime; that is, we actually balanced the Federal budget. Jack Lew was the architect of bringing us together to balance the Federal budget. We need that type of leadership in the Treasury today--a person who understands fiscal responsibility and understands how to do it in a way where you can create job growth. During those years, let me remind us, we created millions of jobs.

He then returned to public service as the OMB Director for President Obama and as Chief of Staff. He has the experience we need to be Secretary of the Treasury, and he has the political know-how to bring us together--Democrats, Republicans, Americans--to do what is right for this country.

I am proud he is willing to step forward. I urge my colleagues to support his nomination. He is the right person at the right time to lead our Nation on fiscal policy.

I yield the floor.


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