|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||CONTACT: ANGELA de ROCHA|
|September 12, 2002||202-224-0894|
Senator Phil Gramm, ranking member of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, made the following statement today at a hearing on the nomination of Mr. Wayne A. Abernathy, of Virginia, to be Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions:
"A famous philosopher once said there is no way can you get a keener insight into the nature of a leader than by looking at the people he surrounds himself with. I have always been very proud to have people judge me by Wayne Abernathy.
"The plain truth is, anyone who has ever worked in the Senate knows that the Senator is simply the front guy. For all intents and purposes, when I was chairman of the Banking Committee, Wayne Abernathy was chairman of the Banking Committee. He was on top of all of the daily details, and all of the work of the committee. I can say that in all of the years that I have worked with Wayne, I have never heard him say or seen him do anything that was not honorable.
"I am very excited about this opportunity for him to serve. I have no doubt that he will reflect well on the Bush Administration, and that he will do a great job.
"I am grateful that I had an opportunity to work with Wayne. I want to thank you for the great job you have done as Senate Banking Staff Director for the minority and the majority, and all the other positions you have held.
"In fact, Wayne started here as an intern.
"One other thing I would like to say - although I shouldn't because my mother will hear it and then I won't hear the end of it - is when the FBI agent came to ask me about Wayne, his first question was if I could tell him something about Wayne's moral character.
"I thought for a moment, and I started my answer by saying, I never knew Jesus, but Wayne Abernathy is about as close in character as I have come."