Before I introduce Governor Ferguson, I would like to take a moment to discuss the agenda of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee in the coming weeks.
The Banking Committee has a significant and pressing agenda of legislative matters that it will have to address in relatively short order. I have asked Senator Bayh, the Chairman of the International Trade and Finance Subcommittee, to take responsibility for the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which expires on September 30. A Subcommittee hearing on the reauthorization has been scheduled for next Tuesday afternoon, June 19.
I have asked Senator Reed, the Chairman of the Housing and Transportation Subcommittee, to oversee the reauthorization of the Multifamily Assisted Housing Reform and Affordability Act, the so-called mark to market program for multifamily housing, which also expires on September 30. A Subcommittee hearing on that legislation has been scheduled for next Tuesday morning.
I have also asked Senator Schumer, the Chairman of the Economic Policy Subcommittee, to take responsibility for the reauthorization of the Defense Production Act , which expires on October 12. A Subcommittee hearing on that legislation may be scheduled for later this month. In addition, the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA), which falls under the jurisdiction of the Banking Committee, expires on August 5. I hope to hold a full Committee hearing on that legislation in the last week of June. If the appropriate oversight hearings on these expiring laws can be held this month, I would hope the Committee could move to a markup of them after the July 4 recess.
In addition, the Committee reported out earlier this year a reauthorization of the Export Administration Act by a 19-1 vote. That legislation has been strongly endorsed by the Administration and we hope to take it up on the Senate floor as soon as the floor schedule permits. The Committee also reported out by voice vote earlier this year a bill dealing with SEC fees and pay parity for SEC employees. The bill was passed by the Senate and we are now awaiting action by the House on the bill. I am hopeful the Congress will be able to complete action on this legislation.
Finally, last year the Committee passed the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act. A technical correction, which is time sensitive, is needed to allow funds collected to run the program to be spent. I have consulted with the Administration, Senator Gramm, and others on legislation that would make the technical fix. I hope we can pass that legislation by unanimous consent on the Senate floor, perhaps this evening, and that the House will then take it up and pass it as well.
Next Wednesday, June 20, the Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the condition of the banking system. The witnesses will be Alan Greenspan, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve; Jerry Hawke, the Comptroller of the Currency; Donna Tanoue, Chair of the FDIC; and Ellen Seidman, Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision. In addition, I expect the Committee to hold hearings this month on nominations pending before the Committee.
Next month I anticipate the Committee will hold hearings on predatory lending, the state of metropolitan and rural America, and financial privacy. Later this year I expect the Committee to review, among other issues, money laundering, and financial education and literacy.
With that as a preface, I would now like to welcome before the Banking Committee this morning Roger Ferguson, who has been nominated by the President for a full 14 year term as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.
Governor Ferguson was originally appointed as a member of the Federal Reserve in 1997 to complete a term which expired on January 31, 2000. He was nominated on September 14, 1999 by President Clinton for a full term as a member of the Federal Reserve Board, as well as Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve. He was confirmed by the Senate to be Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve on September 29, 1999, and his term as Vice Chairman expires on October 5, 2003. No action was taken in the last Congress on his nomination to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board.
Governor Ferguson was nominated by President Bush for a full term as a member of the Federal Reserve on April 24. Given the importance of his position, and the period of time he has been awaiting action on his nomination, I thought it appropriate to schedule this nomination hearing today.
Governor Ferguson has both a law degree and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard. After graduate school, he practiced law in New York from 1981-84 with the firm of Davis, Polk, and Wardwell. He then joined the consulting firm of McKinsey & Company, where he became a partner in 1992 and Director of Research and Information Systems. As I mentioned, he has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve since 1997, and as Vice Chairman since 1999.
By all accounts, Governor Ferguson has served with great distinction as a member of the Federal Reserve. He chaired a working group of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to review the FOMC's disclosure practices. Acting on a working group recommendation, the FOMC altered its disclosure practices, including deciding to issue a statement after every FOMC meeting announcing any action taken by the FOMC and indicating the balance of risks facing the economy.
He oversaw the Fed's preparations for the Year 2000 computer challenge. He also served as Chairman of the Joint Year 2000 Council, sponsored by the Bank for International Settlements, to provide guidance to the global financial supervisory community as it prepared for the Year 2000. He recently competed service as Chairman of the Group of Ten Working Party on Financial Sector Consolidation, which examined the causes and potential effects of consolidation in the financial sector worldwide.
As Vice Chairman, he has served as the Federal Reserve's chief administrative officer. He is currently Co-Chairman of the Federal Reserve's Payments System Development Committee, which addresses public policy issues arising in connection with developments in the nation's payments infrastructure.
Governor Ferguson has also been a careful observer of the economy, and has focused particularly on the role of information technology in productivity growth.
It is a commentary on the high professional standards he has set during his service on the Federal Reserve that he was nominated for a full term on the Board by both President Clinton and President Bush. He mentioned at the time of his first confirmation that the appointment of Andrew Brimmer to the Federal Reserve served as an inspiration to him as a youth and focused his attention on serving on the Federal Reserve as a career goal. Perhaps his service on the Federal Reserve now will serve as an inspiration to other young people to pursue public service in their careers.
I am pleased to welcome Governor Ferguson before the Banking Committee today.