Statements and Speeches
WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) participated in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, "Eliminating Bottlenecks: Streamlining the Nominations Process."
A copy of Sen. Carper's remarks, as prepared for delivery, follows:
"We have seen the backlog that has developed in the Senate over the years as a result of the long list of nominations that come before us and either take significant amount of time to process or never get acted on at all. The problem too often leads to a situation I call "executive branch Swiss cheese" – too many executive branch positions left vacant because of the Senate's flawed confirmation process.
"I strongly believe that the Senate confirmation process needs to be fixed. I am pleased that we agreed to speed up the pace of action by eliminating anonymous objections, or secret holds, to bills or nominations at the beginning of this new Congress. I think we should also take additional steps in the near future to reduce the number of positions that require Senate confirmation.
"In considering these issues, it's also important that we examine the paperwork burdens we place on presidential nominees. In 1994, when I was serving as Governor of the State of Delaware, I had the privilege of being nominated to serve on the Amtrak Board of Directors in a position, by law, to be filled by a chief executive officer of a State with an interest in rail transportation. I can say firsthand that the required paperwork was often duplicative and the process was not as simple and straightforward as I had anticipated and as it could have been.
"The logjam of appointments to fill key administration openings has too often left agencies without leadership that can be held accountable and responsible for performance – especially during presidential transitions. We must fix the process.
"I am encouraged by the steps the Senate has taken to begin to reform the nomination confirmation process. I look forward to working with my colleagues to adopt several of the ideas presented during today's hearing."