WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation announced a hearing on the nominations of Dr. Mark Doms, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs, Department of Commerce; Ms. Polly Ellen Trottenberg, to be Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, Department of Transportation; Ms. Mignon L. Clyburn, to be a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (reappointment); and Dr. Joshua D. Wright, to be a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission.
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Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IVChairmanU.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today we will consider four nominations. Two of our nominations are for senior policymaking positions in the Obama Administration and two are for very important independent commissions that fall under the jurisdiction of this Committee.
Three years ago, this Committee favorably reported the nomination of Polly Ellen Trottenberg to be the Assistant Secretary of Transportation Policy at the Department of Transportation. I am very pleased to see her back in the Committee today, this time as the nominee to be Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy. Ms. Trottenberg has spent her career studying transportation issues, some of it in the Senate while working for Senators Moynihan, Schumer and Boxer. In her new position, Ms. Trottenberg will play a key role in implementing the recent “MAP-21” surface transportation law and the FAA reauthorization we passed earlier this year. This is a big job, but Ms. Trottenberg has shown she is up to it.
Mark Doms, who is currently the Chief Economist at the Department of Commerce, has been nominated to be the Department’s new Under Secretary for Economic Affairs. In this job, Mr. Doms will be one of the Obama Administration’s senior economic advisers, and will manage the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition to his service at the Department of Commerce, Mr. Doms has a distinguished career as an economist at the Federal Reserve. I look forward to hearing from him today about how he plans to use this new position to move our country’s economy forward.
President Obama has re-nominated Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn to another term. This Committee favorably reported her nomination back in 2009, and I am glad that she is willing to serve in this important position for another term. I have always urged Commissioner Clyburn and the other commissioners to approach their work at the FCC with a few simple values: they should protect consumers, promote competition, and make sure that all Americans – including Americans who live in rural places like West Virginia – have access to an up-to-date, affordable communications network. I know she shares these values and look forward to hearing from her about where she thinks the Commission will be going over the next few years.
Our final nominee is Josh Wright, who is a law professor at George Mason University. He has been nominated to be a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the federal government’s most important consumer protection agency. Mr. Wright is a very accomplished young scholar. He has written extensively on antitrust and other issues that would likely come before him as an FTC Commissioner. In his academic writing – some of which has been funded by groups with a clear anti-regulatory agenda – Mr. Wright makes it very clear that he believes that market forces can solve almost any consumer protection problem. While it is easy to espouse ideas like this from the academic ivory tower, serving as an FTC Commissioner is a very different job. As a commissioner, his job will be to enforce the law as it is written, not as he theorizes it should be. In the real world, some business practices hurt consumers and his job is to protect the consumers, not make excuses for the businesses. I look forward to hearing what he has to say on this subject.
Finally, I would like to announce to Members of the Committee that I hope to mark up this group of nominees, as well as other nominations we have pending, next week. To keep this tight schedule, I am requesting that Members submit any questions for the record to our nominees in the next 24 hours.
Witness Panel 1
Dr. Mark Domsto be Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic AffairsDepartment of Commerce
Ms. Polly Ellen Trottenbergto be Under Secretary of Transportation for PolicyDepartment of Transportation
Ms. Mignon L. Clyburnto be a CommissionerFederal Communications Commission (reappointment)
Dr. Joshua D. Wrightto be a CommissionerFederal Trade Commission