Opening Statements of Committee Members

Opening Statement of Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY)

Hearing on the Nomination of Lawrence H. Summers
to be Secretary of the Treasury

10:00 a.m., Thursday, June 17, 1999

Mr. Chairman, I would like to Welcome Assistant Secretary Summers to the Banking Committee. It is a pleasure to see you again.

As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, I was able to hear Secretary Summers testify on a number of occasions. Although I did not always agree with the positions he and the Clinton Administration has taken, I did appreciate his intelligence and candor.

The Next Secretary of the Treasury has some very big shoes to fill. Secretary Rubin, along with Chairman Greenspan have presided over a long period of economic prosperity, that we all want to see continue.

It is very important that the next Treasury Secretary, when faced with challenges both ordinary and extraordinary, take the correct steps that sustain our economic growth. Obviously, no one can predict what those challenges will be or how to overcome them. So in confirming the next Treasury Secretary, we will have to rely on a candidates background, and how they answer our questions.

I have a number of questions, some of which I asked you in our meeting yesterday that I would like to follow up on, and some that will be brand new.

There is no question that your background is very impressive. Nor will anyone question your intelligence.

However, I cannot support any nominee until I know how he would answer a few questions, some simple, some complicated and I hope they will be challenging.

I appreciate your coming before the committee and I look forward to hearing your answers to my questions and the questions of all of my distinguished colleagues.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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