September 29, 2015

Sen. Brown Opening Statement at Banking Committee's Hearing on FDIC, Treasury Nominations

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – released the following opening statement, as prepared for delivery, at today’s hearing on the nominations of Adewale Adeyemo to be an Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Development, U.S. Department of the Treasury; Amias Moore Gerety to be an Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions, U.S. Department of the Treasury; and Jay Neal Lerner to be Inspector General, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

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

 Senator Sherrod Brown - Opening Statement
Nominations Hearing
Sept. 29, 2015

Thank you, Chairman Shelby, for holding today’s nominations hearing. 

Congratulations to all of our nominees.  I also want to extend a warm welcome to your families and friends who are here today to support you.

Last week, we held a hearing on Mr. Adam Szubin’s nomination for a key counterterrorism post at the Treasury Department. It was the Committee’s first nomination hearing of this Congress. 

I am pleased that today we have three more nominees before the Committee.  It’s been a long time coming. Mr. Lerner and Mr. Adeyemo were first nominated last year, and Mr. Gerety was nominated in February. 

Before I discuss their outstanding qualifications and experience, I want to express my hope that the Committee will make progress on our nominations backlog.

We still have seven nominees who have yet to receive a hearing, and not one nominee has received a vote from the Committee this Congress. These nominations deserve full, fair, and prompt consideration. 

On Thursday, the Committee will hold an executive session to mark up oil exports legislation.  I’m disappointed that we aren’t taking that opportunity to act on Mr. Szubin’s nomination. It was clear at his hearing that he has this Committee’s support.

That said, we have a distinguished panel of public servants before us today.

Mr. Adewale Adeyemo has been nominated to be Assistant Secretary for International Markets and Development of the Department of the Treasury.

The position Mr. Adeyemo has been nominated for is responsible for leading Treasury’s efforts related to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, as well as international financial services regulation, trade, development, technical assistance, and climate finance. 

After the financial crisis, and as economies around the world continue to recover, it is essential that the Treasury engage with our international counterparts to implement strong financial services regulation, fair trade, and foreign investment that also protects our national interests.  I look forward to hearing more about Mr. Adeyemo’s priorities in this role.   

Mr. Amias Gerety has been nominated to be Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions of the Department of Treasury. 

The Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions is responsible for developing and coordinating the Treasury’s policies regarding financial institutions, including legislation and regulation that affect financial institutions, federal agencies that regulate or insure financial institutions, and securities markets.  As we continue to implement and enforce Wall Street Reform, this position is key to ensuring that strong regulation promotes financial stability, safety and soundness, and robust consumer protections.

Mr. Gerety has played an important role since the beginning of the current Administration to help our country recover from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.  I believe he will continue that superb work if confirmed for this position. 

Mr. Jay Lerner has been nominated to be the Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. 

The FDIC Inspector General heads an independent division within the agency that conducts audits, investigations, and reviews of the FDIC’s programs and operations. 

The IG is also required by law to provide written reports to the FDIC on why failed institutions resulted in a material loss to the Deposit Insurance Fund, and to make recommendations for preventing losses in the future.  This is a vital task in understanding both what causes bank failures and how to prevent bank crises. 

Steve Linick, the current IG at the Department of State and a frequent witness before this Committee during his tenure as the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Inspector General, wrote that Mr. Lerner, “not only has a strong background in combatting waste, fraud, and abuse, which is critical for an Inspector General, but he also understands the world of banking and financial regulation.” 

I look forward to hearing from Mr. Lerner today.  

Congratulations again to all of you on your nominations, and thank you for your public service.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.