Chairman Rockefeller's Remarks on Today's Nominations Hearing

December 15, 2009

JDR Head ShotWASHINGTON, D.C.--I want to welcome and congratulate our nominees. I appreciate your commitment to public service and look forward to seeing you all confirmed shortly so you can get to work.

We will start today with Julie Brill, the President’s nominee to be a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, who has spent her career in state Attorneys General offices advocating on behalf of consumers.

My hope is that Ms. Brill will help the FTC work more closely with state Attorney General divisions to leverage and increase enforcement against those who target consumers, especially the most vulnerable. Ms. Brill’s experience fighting in the trenches will serve her well.

Also nominated to be Commissioner of the FTC is Edith Ramirez, who brings extensive experience in complex business litigation. I appreciate her critical eye for mergers and business combinations which may potentially harm consumers.

And now we turn to one of our very own: David Strickland — nominated to be the next Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Most of the members of this Committee not only know Mr. Strickland, they consider him a trusted advisor and friend.

During eight years as a senior counsel for consumer and auto safety issues, Mr. Strickland has served three chairmen, including me.

David’s booming voice and infectious laugh complement a sharp intellect, meticulous preparation, and the ability to build consensus on complex issues.

David’s expertise on automobile issues helped the Senate write the bill that raised gas mileage standards for the first time in 30 years. He helped write the landmark safety bill in 2005 requiring electronic stability control and other safety features in all cars in coming model years.

In 2004, Mothers Against Drunk Driving named Mr. Strickland its “Congressional Staffer of the Year” for his efforts to reduce drunk driving.

Now, he will take his safety expertise to a new venue, but continue his work to prevent injuries and save lives on our nation’s highways.

Mr. Strickland is the right person for this job. And, as part of the job, I think he will enjoy being interrogated at the witness table during future hearings. I know I will enjoy it.

Next, we have Nicole Lamb-Hale, who has been nominated to be the Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services at the Department of Commerce.

The current state of our economy requires our businesses to make the world their market. We look forward to Ms. Lamb-Hale stepping up to invigorate companies and help produce new American jobs.

We also welcome Michael Khouri, nominee to be Administrator of the Federal Maritime Commission, which we need to promote fair and open shipping practices in international commerce.

Thank you again to our nominees for your testimony today and your continued public service. I look forward to your speedy confirmation.