Carper Statement on Nominations for OPM, GSA

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), former chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the hearing to consider the nominations of Jeff Pon to be Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Michael Rigas to be Deputy Director of the OPM and Emily Murphy to be Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA).

“Yesterday, we heard encouraging news from Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray that a bipartisan deal has been reached on health care reform that would help stabilize the individual health insurance markets and reduce insurance premiums for millions of Americans. However, more than half of Americans receive insurance through large group plans, which include an employer contribution. Some of my Republican colleagues want to eliminate those same fundamental benefits for some federal workers. But I think it would be unconscionable to compromise access to health insurance for legislative branch employees – the very people who work in our offices every day to help us serve our constituents – all for political points. Should they be confirmed, I look forward to working with Jeff Pon and Michael Rigas at the Office of Personnel Management to ensure we offer the health benefits we must offer if we want to recruit and retain a talented federal workforce.

“The General Services Administration has a mission near and dear to my heart—to help other agencies do more and get better results for less money. With her decades of experience in government contracting and procurement, I am confident that Emily Murphy has the right qualifications to take on this demanding job at the helm of GSA. I’m encouraged that Ms. Murphy shares my zeal for maximizing each taxpayer dollar we use on government leases by making smart and strategic long-term investments, like the Department of Homeland Security’s consolidation project at St. Elizabeths. Should she be confirmed, I look forward to working with Ms. Murphy to make the completion of St. Elizabeths a priority for this administration.

“Further, with her previous work on Capitol Hill, conducting oversight on the organization she’s now been nominated to lead, I’m assured that Emily Murphy understands the necessity and value of agency responsiveness to Congressional oversight requests. As Congress continues to conduct oversight on GSA, I will work closely with Ms. Murphy to ensure taxpayer dollars are protected from unacceptable cost escalations and any potential conflicts of interest.”