Tuesday, June 22, 1999 202-224-0894


Sen. Phil Gramm, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, made the following statement at the opening of the full committee hearing on the nomination of Lawrence Summers to be Secretary of Treasury:

"We're very pleased to have Secretary Summers here today. If confirmed, he will become the 71st Secretary of the Department of the Treasury.

"He is one of our nation's premier academic economists. He was the youngest tenured professor in the history of Harvard University. He won the John Bates Clark award, which is given every two years to the outstanding economist in America under the age of 40.

"And thanks to Secretary Robert Rubin's willingness to allow Secretary Summers to provide critical leadership in many areas, he has a lot of practical experience to go with all this academic knowledge and background.

"So, Larry, we're very pleased to have you here today.

"Just to give you an idea of this committee's jurisdiction related to the Treasury Department, we confirm the assistant secretary for financial institutions; we have the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision; we have the U.S. Bureau of the Mint, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing; we have the Bureau of Public Debt and the United States Savings Bonds division; we have the Community Development Financial Institutions, government securities, the Exchange Stabilization Fund and jurisdiction over all trade matters other than tariffs. Hence, our interest in having you here today.

"There are many things I have been critical of the administration on, but I have not been critical of the people they have nominated to be Secretary of the Treasury. I think that they have really been the highlight of the administration. I think Bob Rubin has brought credibility to the administration as Secretary of the Treasury at a time when they critically needed it. I hope that you can match his achievements, and I'm confident that you're capable of doing that."