Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, I am very pleased to come before you as you consider my nomination to be President and Chairman of the Export - Import Bank of the United States.
I would like to recognize the members of my family who are here today - My wife, Ellie, my daughter Nancy, and my daughter Cathy and her husband Paul Williams.
I want to thank President Bush for his confidence in nominating me for this position and, if confirmed, I look forward to working with this Committee, and Chairman Sarbanes from my home state of Maryland.
I know the Committee has my biographical information, so I won't go into the details of my qualifications but ask that they be submitted with this oral statement.
It is with some mixed emotion that I appear before you today. I have mixed emotions because the previous Chairman, John Robson, was a friend for more than two decades, and I am saddened by his death.
However, I am also honored and excited by the opportunity to serve our country again. If confirmed, I look forward with energy and enthusiasm to the challenges and opportunities that are presented in pursuing the mission of the Bank to support U.S. exports and U.S. jobs.
I am no stranger to the public policy arena or the government process. So the question might be, why do you want to do this again? I will quote something that John Robson said in his confirmation statement:
"I have never found a canvas as big to paint on as public service offers and I am particularly excited about the prospect of leading the Export -Import Bank." I echo that sentiment.
If confirmed, this would be the 7th time I have taken the oath of office - - actually, the 8th - - if one includes, as I do, the very 1st time as a private in the United States Army.
Each time I have felt the same mixture of inspiration, dedication, determination and appreciation for everything this country has done for me, for my family, and for the cause of freedom and free institutions.
If confirmed for this position, I believe I would bring to the Bank:
The Export -Import Bank has enjoyed strong bipartisan Congressional support since its establishment under President Franklin Roosevelt. The Bank performs important roles in fostering American exports and thereby stimulating economic activity and job creation here at home.
The bipartisan support from the Congress and President Bush for passage of Ex-Im's five year reauthorization ensures that the Bank will continue to move forward to help US exporters.
I note particularly the desire of Congress to devote resources to small and medium-size enterprises. I pledge to make every effort to carry out that charge and to assist these as well as all other US businesses in the highly competitive international markets of the 21st century.
If confirmed, I look forward to working with this Committee, the Congress, the career professionals at Ex-Im Bank, the Administration's trade team, and the entire exporting community.
You have my commitment to continue close dialogue with this Committee and the Congress as the Bank adjusts its policy and operations to the challenge of the 21st Century.
Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, I respectfully ask for your favorable consideration of my nomination and will be pleased to respond to your questions.
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