Opening Statements of Committee Members

Opening Statement of Senator Wayne A. Allard (R-CO)

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

10:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 22, 1999

First, I would like to thank Chairman Gramm for holding this hearing. The functions performed by the Secretary of the Treasury are increasingly important in today's world, and I appreciate the opportunity to have a dialogue with Mr. Summers.

We are fortunate to live in a time of economic growth and prosperity. It Is important that we do what we can to maintain this growth and foster a healthy, vibrant economy with opportunities for everyone. The Secretary of the Treasury plays a key role in our economy. There are, however, many challenges in this task. The Treasury Department has come under increasing scrutiny lately, and the Secretary must be willing to lead the way in reform.

Specifically, I hope that the new Treasury Secretary will be dedicated to reform of the IRS. I am disappointed that the President has not yet submitted all of his nominees for the IRS Oversight Board. The Oversight Board was a key component of the IRS Reform legislation that we passed last year, and it is unconscionable that the President has delayed making his nominations. It is crucial that we get the Board in place and fully implement the legislation. I hope that the Treasury Secretary will share my belief in the importance of taxpayer rights and will lead the way in IRS reform.

Certainly, there are many other areas where the new Treasury Secretary must be a strong leader, and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss those with Mr. Summers. I look forward to your testimony, Mr. Summers.

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