March 12, 2019

Brown Opening Statement at Banking Committee Executive Session


WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – delivered the following opening statement at today’s Executive Session.

Sen. Brown’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, follow:


Thank you Chairman Crapo, and welcome to our witnesses.


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  This morning the Committee will vote on three nominations that were reported favorably last Congress.  I plan to support each of the nominees again. Ms. Claudia Slacik is nominated as a board member of the Export-Import Bank.  Ms. Slacik’s experience and her past service at Ex-Im make her uniquely qualified to help the Bank provide credit assistance to U.S. exporters when commercial banks are unable to assist.


The Ex-Im Bank has been partially shut down for more than three years. Thousands of American jobs have been lost as deals stall and U.S. manufacturers consider moving their production abroad. Just yesterday, President Trump’s budget called for a fully functioning Ex-Im bank to, quote, “help American exporters  compete in  an increasingly unfair global marketplace.”


I wish the president would stand by his own words, and demand members of his own party in the Senate give Ms. Slacik and the three other Ex-Im nominees reported by our Committee a vote. These nominees have strong bipartisan support, but they never received a vote on the Senate floor last year.  


The president needs to lead, and the Senate needs to do its job and vote on the Ex-Im nominees. 


At the Federal Transit Administration, I hope Thelma Drake will change how this DOT treats public transportation. We have seen too many project delays and proposed cuts to essential programs. She has committed to being an advocate for transit riders, and on safety, she has made a clear commitment to improving oversight. I will hold her to those commitments.


Mr. Jeffrey Nadaner is again the nominee for Commerce Assistant Secretary for Export Control Enforcement. In the face of increasing efforts by Russia, China, and others to steal critical proprietary information and sensitive technologies from US firms, he has made clear that if confirmed tough enforcement of our export control regime will be a high priority for him.