Statements and Speeches

WASHINGTON – Today the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to consider the nomination of Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A copy of Sen. Carper's remarks, as prepared for delivery, follows:

“I would like to welcome Ms. Burwell to today’s hearing and thank her for her willingness to serve our country and go through the nomination process.

“I often like to say that leadership is everything. Regardless of the organization, whether it is the public or private sector, good leadership is essential to successfully accomplishing a mission.  The Department of Health and Human Services is no exception.  In fact, this is a critical period for the department as it continues to work to implement the Affordable Care Act effectively, while also fulfilling its other important missions to protect and promote Americans’ health and quality of life.

“As an accomplished leader in the both the public and private sector for more than 20 years, including serving as the director of the Office of Management and Budget, deputy chief of staff to President Clinton – at a time when our government got its deficit under control and achieved four balanced budgets in a row – and as the head of two of the nation’s largest philanthropic foundations, I am confident Ms. Burwell is exceedingly qualified to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

I have had the pleasure of working closely with Ms. Burwell over the past year during her tenure as director of the Office of Management and Budget, and have been impressed by her exceptional skills as a leader and manager.  Ms. Burwell played a leading role in the bi-partisan budget deal reached this past December and she worked tirelessly to navigate our return from the unfortunate government shutdown we faced last October.

“In all of the jobs she has held over the years, Ms. Burwell has shown a great work ethic and intellect, and a strong business perspective.  She also is a warm and gracious person, and someone who can build consensus across party lines at a time when members of both political parties need to set partisan considerations aside for the sake of our nation.  These qualities, in my opinion, can be attributed in large part to the fact that she hails from Hinton, West Virginia – a wonderful town of wonderful people, where I once lived as a young boy.

“In short, I couldn’t think of a person more qualified to assume the important role of steward of Americans’ health and well-being. I look forward to working with my colleagues to see her nomination fairly considered and swiftly confirmed by the full Senate.”