May 05, 2020

Crapo Statement at Nomination Hearing for Brian Miller, Dana Wade

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, delivered the following remarks at a hearing to consider the nominations of The Honorable Brian Miller, of Virginia, to be Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery at the Department of Treasury; and Mrs. Dana Wade, of the District of Columbia, to be Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

The text of Chairman Crapo’s remarks, as prepared, is below. 

"This hearing will come to order.   

“Since this is our first hybrid hearing, a brief explanation of how it will work will benefit Senators and the public.   

“The hearing room has been configured to maintain the recommended six-foot social distancing between senators, nominees, and other individuals in the room necessary to operate the hearing, which we have kept to a minimum.  

“A number of senators have chosen to use secure video teleconference technology, which will allow them to remotely participate. 

“For those joining by video conference, once you start speaking, there will be a slight delay before you are displayed on screen.   

“To minimize background noise, we are asking senators who are using the video conference option to please click the mute button until it is their turn to ask questions.   

“If there is a technology issue, we will move to the next senator until it is resolved.    

“I would remind all senators and the nominees that the five minute clock still applies.   

“For senators using the video option, you will notice a screen labeled ‘clock’ that will show how much time is remaining.  

“At about 30 seconds remaining, I will gently tap the gavel to remind senators their time has almost expired.  

“To simplify the speaking order process, Senator Brown and I have agreed to go by seniority for this first hybrid hearing.   

“Thank you to those of you who are here today, those appearing before us, and those who are keeping the Capitol complex safe and functioning while we honor our Constitutional duty.  

“The coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic has challenged our sense of normalcy, and it has tested every institution of daily life we know.   

“The crisis has had a major impact on the physical and economic health of our country, and a major response has been required.  

“Congress and the Administration have taken bold, dramatic steps to limit the depth of economic shock the country is currently experiencing, and to provide conditions for a quick and robust economic recovery once economic restrictions are lifted. 

“The CARES Act went into effect just over one month ago, putting needed cash directly into the hands of American workers and families, providing rapid relief to small businesses, helping to stabilize our markets and the economy, and sending a massive new infusion of resources to the front lines of the medical response. 

“Title IV of the CARES Act, which is under the Banking Committee’s jurisdiction, provides $500 billion in emergency relief in order to provide liquidity to eligible businesses, States, municipalities and Tribes related to losses incurred as a result of coronavirus.    

“Implementing this title is an important step to supporting the flow of credit in the economy. 

“On April 9, 2020, the Federal Reserve Board and Department of Treasury announced new and expanded lending programs to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans.   

“The 13(3) Federal Reserve facilities, specifically the Main Street Lending Facilities, are crucial components of the strategy to support the economy and promote a U-shaped recovery, which reinforces the need to have them up and operating, and being as broadly available for as many businesses as possible.

“Title IV includes robust oversight requirements to ensure the statute is followed, and to protect against waste, fraud and abuse.  

“The Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery will oversee the reporting and auditing requirements of the law, and it is critical that we quickly confirm the nominee so that important work can begin.    

“This afternoon, we will consider the nominations of The Honorable Brian Miller, of Virginia, to be Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery; and Mrs. Dana Wade, of the District of Columbia, to be Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Welcome and congratulations on your nominations to these important positions. 

“Section 4018 of the CARES Act establishes the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery. 

“The duty of the SIGPR is to ‘conduct, supervise, and coordinate audits and investigations of the making, purchase, management, and sale of loans, loan guarantees and other investments made by the Secretary of the Treasury under any program established by the Secretary under this Act, and the management by the Secretary of any program established under this Act.’ 

“Mr. Miller is highly qualified for the Special Inspector General position, having served as the Inspector General for the General Services Administration for nearly a decade.  

“The Senate confirmed Mr. Miller for that position in 2005 via voice vote, a position he held for nearly ten years.  

“In that role, Mr. Miller led more than 300 auditors, special agents, attorneys, and support staff in conducting nationwide audits and investigations; and reported on fraud, waste and abuse.  

“He has been outspoken on the need for inspectors general to have independence and access to information, and I am confident that he will carry out the responsibilities and mission of this position diligently, independently and objectively.  

“During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 2015, Mr. Miller noted, ‘. . . in order to have effective oversight, an IG must have independence to conduct an investigation, review or audit.  This includes determining what information is needed.  It is the judgment of the IG conducting the investigation that matters, not the judgment of the agency being investigated.’ 

“I encourage my colleagues to support Mr. Miller’s nomination, so that he can begin this vital oversight role.  

“Turning to Mrs. Dana Wade. Dana Wade is well prepared to take over the reins at the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). 

“She is familiar to the task, having operated as Acting Federal Housing Commissioner and General Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Housing. 

“As Acting Commissioner, she directly managed FHA’s portfolio of single family, multifamily and healthcare insurance; Section 8 project-based rental assistance; the Office of Manufactured Housing; and over 2,400 personnel agency-wide.  

“Mrs. Wade’s extensive record of housing policy experience also includes service as Senior Advisor to Secretary Ben Carson, Deputy Staff Director to this Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee, and as Associate Director at the Office of Management and Budget, where she led all housing-related issues and supervised HUD, among other agencies.  

“Great leadership will be required at FHA during this unprecedented time of strain on both home ownership and rental markets.  

“In the wake of COVID-19, we have already seen over 10 percent of FHA borrowers enter mortgage forbearance, FHA-insured healthcare facilities feeling significant strain, and many FHA-assisted landlords struggle to make ends meet while countless renters are unsure where their next rent payment will come from.  

“In the months ahead, FHA will be on the front lines helping many of these families get back on their feet and providing much-needed liquidity throughout the housing finance system. 

“I am confident that Mrs. Wade will provide exactly the type of leadership that is needed during this critical time, as Commissioner Montgomery has done.  

“I encourage my colleagues to support Mrs. Wade’s nomination, as well as to confirm Brian Montgomery as Deputy Secretary, so that we can best position HUD to tackle the challenges ahead.  

“Congratulations again to each of you on your nominations, and I thank you and your families for your willingness to serve.”