Chairman Sarbanes, Ranking Member Gramm, and distinguished members of the Committee, my name is Angela Antonelli, and I thank you for inviting me to appear before you today.
I am humbled and honored to be the choice of President Bush and Secretary Mel Martinez to serve as the Chief Financial Officer for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. If confirmed, I look forward to being part of the outstanding team at HUD that will work with you and your staffs to address the housing and economic development needs in our nation's communities.
As the daughter of Italian immigrants, I cannot fully convey to you what it means for me to be here today. A day like today fills me with gratitude and love for this country and the freedom and opportunity it provides. But you cannot begin to imagine what it means to my Mother who is here with me today. To her, I am the reason she came to United States, sacrificed so much and started all over.
When I told her I was asked by the President to serve, she simply said "It's The Dream." If you are born poor, you do not have to remain poor; your life's work preordained. No, in the United States - a land where freedom and opportunity flourish - you can dream and through hard work and strength of character achieve those dreams. My career in public service is based on a sincere desire to make sure that future generations always see the United States as a land where freedom and opportunity flourish and dreams for a better life come true.
An important part of the American Dream is a home to call your own and community of caring people of which you can be a part. I look forward to being a part of HUD's mission to preserve the Dream - to empower communities and their residents to improve themselves by reducing homelessness, creating opportunities for homeownership, and encouraging economic development. Antonelli
As Secretary Martinez has stated, the first priority will be to put HUD's own house in order. The CFO has responsibility for the development of the department's budget and for financial management, the presentation of accurate financial information, management integrity and departmental strategic, planning. If confirmed as CFO, I intend to work closely with my colleagues at HUD to address the institutional weaknesses identified by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) and HUD's Inspector General. These weaknesses diminish the ability of the department to achieve its mission.
To the position of Chief Financial Officer, I bring 15 years of policy, budget and management experience. I have worked with and for many of the organizations I will be working closely with to carry out my responsibilities as CFO, including Congress, the GAO and the Office of Management and Budget. I will be able to bring my experiences working for the federal government and state government as well as the private and nonprofit sectors to contribute to the effective management and leadership of Elm.
Congress and the public are well aware of the problems that have plagued HUD. Although GAO has removed the department as a whole from its "high-risk" list, there are still many activities that remain at risk. Under the leadership of Secretary Mel Martinez, I look forward to working with Congress in a bipartisan manner to address these issues, restore credibility, and do a better job with the tax dollars that hard working Americans trust to us.
I am deeply grateful for the confidence President Bush and Secretary Martinez have placed in me. I take the responsibilities and challenges ahead very seriously.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, thank you for your consideration of my nomination and the opportunity to appear before you today. I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
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