Chairman Rockefeller's Remarks on Today's Executive Session

August 5, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C.--We have four very important bills and a number of key Administration nominations on today’s agenda. 
First, the committee will consider, S. 1078, the AmericaView Geospatial Imagery Mapping Program.  This bill authorizes the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to expand the AmericaView program, which is designed to use satellite and remote sensing data to support applied research, K-12 education, workforce development, and technology transfer.  
The next item is S. 30, the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009, which is sponsored by Senator Nelson.  I support this important consumer protection bill, which Senator Nelson will describe in detail shortly and I congratulate him on his efforts.
The third bill on the agenda is Senator Hutchison’s Safe Prisons Communications Act of 2009.  The rise of contraband cell phone use in prisons is disturbing.  Once a criminal has been put in prison, the public should not have to worry that an inmate may continue illegal activities from behind bars.  I respect Senator Hutchison’s commitment to addressing this pressing issue through her bill, the “Safe Prisons Communications Act of 2009.”
The fourth and final bill on the agenda is Senator Snowe’s Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Act. 
We also have a number of very important nominees to consider.  I want to take a minute and recognize the nominees.  Again, I want to thank all of the nominees for their willingness to serve and their dedication and commitment to public service.  The caliber of the men and women that the President has nominated to serve in his Administration is extremely impressive. 
Unfortunately, I was not able to attend this morning’s nomination hearing for Mr. Hightower, Mr. Adler, and Congresswoman Northup.  You all have astounding resumes and are well-qualified for your positions.  I look forward to supporting your nominations and working with you in your new positions. 
The Committee will consider the following nominees:
Chris Bertram, a current Commerce Committee staff member, to be Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs and Chief Financial Officer, at the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Patricia Cahill, to be a Member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Daniel Elliott, to be a Member of the Surface Transportation Board
Mr. Christopher Hart, to be a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board
Susan Kurland, to be Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Transportation
Dennis Hightower, to be Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce
Robert Adler, to be a Member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission
Congresswoman Anne Northup, to be a Member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission
I will work with Senator Hutchison to make sure the Senate moves as quickly as possible on these important nominations. 
I want to turn to Senator Hutchison for her opening remarks, and then call on other Members who would like to speak. 
Thank you.  Senator Hutchison.