Hutchison Presses Commerce Department Nominee on Commitment to Jobs, Tax Reform

June 21, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today pressed President Obama’s nominee for Secretary to the Department of Commerce, John Bryson, on his commitment to creating jobs and spurring economic growth in the nation’s economy.  The Administration’s pick for Deputy Secretary, Terry Garcia, was also a witness at the nomination hearing. 

“These are the two most senior positions within the Department of Commerce, which is tasked with promoting business, creating jobs, and spurring economic growth,” said Senator Hutchison. “Businesses, small and large, need a voice at the table with the President and I have concerns about whether Mr. Bryson’s longtime record on expanding regulation and limiting markets will allow him to be that voice.”

Senator Hutchison expressed deep concern with some of Mr. Bryson’s past statements regarding cap and trade legislation, and questioned him about his views regarding tax reform for businesses and the Commerce Department’s commitment to opening trade markets.  The Senator also questioned Mr. Bryson about his position on the National Labor Relations Board lawsuit against Boeing that has the potential to hold up the creation of more jobs: 

Sen. Hutchison: And you made a very good statement about regulatory excess. Do you think the stretch that the NLRB is trying to make to keep Boeing from choosing where it manufactures its products is the overreach of regulation?

Mr. Bryson: Right, I think it’s not the right judgment. I mean, maybe I wasn’t thinking it so much as regulation. It seemed like an unexpected legal proceeding that none of us on the board; we thought we were doing the right thing for the country and we looked hard at maintaining the jobs in Washington and handling the jobs elsewhere for the benefit of the country and we never thought, for example, of putting those jobs outside the US.

Sen. Hutchison: Well, that’s a very important point that you’re making and I hope because of your experience, not only doing what’s right for jobs in America, but also, unabashedly, representing the shareholders for whom you hold a trust that you will speak out against that kind of over reach that is unprecedented, really. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it ever and I hope when you’re confirmed that you will take that on as the spokesman for business and commerce in our country, that we’ve got to stop this and if you will be the spokesman that you have said you will be, this should be exhibit A. Thank you.

You can view Senator Hutchison’s statement here.