December 20,2012

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Baucus Statement in Support of Treasury, HHS General Counsel Nominations

As Prepared for Delivery

Woodrow Wilson once said, “I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.”

This administration, like all administrations, faces a great number of challenges.  They need a great number of bright and talented people to work together to find solutions.   The two nominees before us here today are among the best and the brightest.  They seek to be the general counsels of the Department of Treasury and the Department of Health and Human Services.  These agencies will depend on their advice and expertise for implementing laws and forming our country’s economic and health policy. 

In August, President Obama nominated Christopher Meade to be the General Counsel at the Department of Treasury.  Mr. Meade came to Treasury in 2010, and this summer took over as the Acting General Counsel.  This experience, and his trusted knowledge of the law, will serve him well.

After graduating from Princeton and then NYU Law School, Mr. Meade clerked for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.  Years later, he returned to the Supreme Court to argue four high profile cases on behalf of his clients.  In reviewing his career, a consistent theme is apparent: He is respected, trusted and Mr. Meade knows the law.

If confirmed, Mr. Meade will use his experience to counsel the secretary and all at the Treasury Department on economic and financial affairs, both domestic and international.  These policies affect every person in America, and Mr. Meade’s sound judgment is essential.

President Obama selected William Schultz to be the General Counsel at the Department of Health and Human Services.  This position demands a high level of expertise to assist in the analysis and implementation of our nation’s health care laws.

A graduate of Yale and then UVA Law School, Mr. Schultz gained expertise through a long and varied career, much of it in public service.  He currently serves as Acting General Counsel at HHS.  He came to the agency in 2011 after working at the Department of Justice, the FDA, and in the private sector.

Mr. Schultz was a well-respected professor at Georgetown Law, sharing his knowledge with hundreds of students.  He’s published many scholarly articles throughout the years covering issues from the FDA to the Supreme Court.  His writings have appeared in the New York Times and the Georgetown Law Journal. 

Both Mr. Schultz and Mr. Meade must bring thoughtfulness and a command of the law to their respective agencies.  Their records show them to be qualified for these positions.  I believe the administration will benefit from borrowing the knowledge, experience and perspective both nominees possess.