May 11, 2023

Scott Opposes Progressive Biden Nominees Before Banking Committee

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-S.C.) today voted against the nominations of Jared Bernstein, to serve as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA); Solomon Greene, to serve as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, Department of Housing and Urban Development; David Uejio, to serve as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development; and Ron Borzekowski, to serve as Director of the Office of Financial Research at the Department of the Treasury. Three of the nominees – Mr. Bernstein, Mr. Greene, and Mr. Borzekowski – received unanimous opposition from Banking Committee Republicans.

In his opening remarks, the Ranking Member emphasized the role of the CEA Chair as an economic adviser to the President and underscored that Bernstein is not the appropriate choice due to his role in orchestrating historic levels of inflation and his support of progressive economic policies that would weaken the economy and increase costs for everyday Americans.

Ranking Member Scott’s opening remarks as delivered:

Today, this Committee is considering four nominees for positions across our federal government. As I said during the nominations hearing on April 18th, nominees should inspire confidence, have [a] strong respect for the rule of law, and support policies that promote the American Dream.

Sadly, three of today’s nominees fall short of those criteria—Jared Bernstein, Solomon Greene, and David Uejio. Each [has] demonstrated time and again, from public comments to even their answers to this Committee’s questions, that they are not looking after the interests of everyday Americans but are wedded to helping this administration achieve its progressive policy goals.

I have seen comments from my colleagues here in the Senate that sound the alarm for Mr. Bernstein. And to be frank, his comments during our hearing only further demonstrated that Mr. Bernstein would be the most extreme nominee we have ever had for the position of Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. A role traditionally held by non-political economists. 

While I appreciate Mr. Bernstein’s support of Opportunity Zones, unfortunately, his largely partisan record of advocating for extreme progressive policy positions, including universal government-guaranteed jobs; universal government-run health care systems; higher taxes, including a carbon tax [and] a wealth tax; and the Green New Deal—deeply concern me.

Even in his written responses to questions from this Committee, Mr. Bernstein admits that he stands behind many of his most troubling past statements. Including his support for taxing Americans’ unrealized gains.

As families struggle to fill their gas tanks and drive their kids to school or go to work, Mr. Bernstein admits that he still supports the administration’s decision to shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline—a decision to shut down America’s own energy production. As everyday American suffer at the pump, Mr. Bernstein has written that prices of fossil fuels “should be higher”— higher than they are. And he also criticized the low gas prices in 2019 as well, arguing that they are not where they need to be to negate the “negative environmental effects” of oil and gas. I would imagine that the vast majority of Americans find themselves appalled, stunned, and frankly, under the weight of inflation and higher gas prices.

While we look forward to ways and opportunities to work in bipartisan fashion, we don’t see it on the nominees today.