Opening Statements of Committee Members

Opening Statement of Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY)

Hearing on the Nomination of the Honorable Mel Martinez, of Florida,
to be the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
10:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Mr. chairman, I would like to thank Mel Martinez for testifying today and I would like to thank you for holding this hearing in such an expeditious fashion.

I strongly support the nomination of Mel Martinez to become the next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. I believe he is yet another outstanding selection for President-elect Bush's cabinet. I hope that the committee will quickly report his nomination to the Senate floor.

Mr. Martinez has overcome many personal hardships to come to this point. In 1962, at the age of 15, Mr. Martinez was forced to leave his family and flee the tyranny of Castro's Cuba. He was able to survive because of the generosity of this great nation and the people of central florida. Four years later, he was reunited with his family and began to work to achieve his version of the American dream.

He graduated from Florida State University and Florida State University law school and then went on to build a successful law practice. He then decided to give back to the community that had given so much to him by becoming involved in public service and many charitable causes.

Managing the Department of Housing and Urban Development is a daunting task, but I believe that Mr. Martinez is up to that task. I believe he will promote home ownership and help more and more Americans achieve the american dream. I also hope he will be able to streamline HUD and make it more responsive to its clients, while cleaning out some of the political cronyism we have seen there.

I once again applaud you, Mr. chairman, for holding this hearing. I believe Mr. Martinez is highly qualified to run HUD. I strongly believe his background, his experience and his management skills will make him an outstanding HUD secretary.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.