Mr. Chairman, Senator Gramm, and distinguished members of the Committee, thank you very much for the opportunity to appear before you today as a nominee for the board of the National Credit Union Administration. I am deeply honored to have been nominated by President Bush to serve our country in this way, and I am grateful for the attentive consideration this committee has given me since the president forwarded my name to you for your consideration.
I want to thank Senator Grassley for all he has done on my behalf, introducing me to the Committee and advising me throughout this nomination process. I also want to thank NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar for all his assistance and my new colleague, Deborah Matz for her camaraderie as we travel a common course together. I also want to acknowledge the constant support of my husband, Brian.
In accepting the President’s recess appointment on January 22nd, I traded in my legislator duties as an Iowa State Senator for regulator responsibilities – and having been a legislator, I appreciate and respect the distinction between the two. I learned the skills of a legislator and the need to hear all sides of an issue and chart a course to an equitable solution. I will be continuing that policy at NCUA, if confirmed, and consultations with Congress will also be an important part of the deliberative process I shall engage in as an NCUA Board Member.
I don’t bring an agenda with me to this position, but I do have some standards that will guide my actions as a regulator:
In my few weeks on the NCUA Board, I have spent much of my time meeting with NCUA office directors, studying NCUA programs, and meeting with other interested parties to gain a fair assessment of the larger credit union picture. The consultations I have had with you, Mr. Chairman, and other Members of the Committee in preparation for this hearing have been valuable to me as I assess the challenges ahead.
My Iowa background encompasses a background in family agriculture, education and community service. I also served nearly eight years in the Iowa Senate. I was privileged to chair two committees, the Ways and Means Committee and the Commerce Committee. My duties called on me to address and negotiate diverse issues concerning tax and budgeting, commerce, financial institutions and economic development. Consequently I believe I bring the necessary skills with me to judge fairly the important policy issues that will come before me at NCUA.
I know this committee is looking for the Board to exercise good judgment. That means maintaining a safe and sound credit union financial system, which is exactly what we have inherited and what I am committed to maintain and bequeath to my successors.
With so many people continuing to join credit unions around the country, more Americans, whether they know it or not, depend on the regulatory decisions and systems that assure quality and integrity nationally. Well-run credit unions that efficiently provide consumer financial services in today’s diverse marketplace are an essential and vital part of the financial community in the United States – providing members credit for provident and productive purposes – just as they have done since they began to fill those needs at the beginning of the last century.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before the Senate Committee on Banking and Urban Affairs Committee today. I am honored to be here and I pledge to work closely with you and members of this committee and the Congress during my term to ensure the continued health and sound policies for the nation’s credit union system.
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