November 17,2011

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Baucus Urges Confirmation of Treasury, Social Security, Tax Court Nominations

Finance Chair Says Nominees Will Help Improve Economy, Create Jobs, Strengthen Social Security, Protect Taxpayers

Washington, DCSenate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today urged the confirmation of Mary Miller to be Under Secretary for Domestic Finance at the Department of Treasury, Alastair Fitzpayne to be Deputy Under Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the Department of Treasury, Kathleen Kerrigan to be a Judge of the United States Tax Court and Henry Aaron to be a Member of the Social Security Advisory Board.  At a committee hearing held today to consider the nominations, Baucus said Miller’s confirmation will help the Treasury Department promote job creation in these tough economic times, Fitzpayne’s confirmation will strengthen the bridge between the Treasury and Congress, Kerrigan’s confirmation will maintain the Tax Court’s record of providing a fair forum for resolving taxpayers’ issues, and  Aaron’s confirmation will help ensure that Social Security remains strong.

“These nominees will provide experience and guidance to help improve our economy, preserve Social Security and protect taxpayers,” said Baucus.  “Mary Miller will help to improve our economy and promote job creation as Under Secretary for Domestic Finance.  Alastair Fitzpayne’s experience and understanding will help ensure Congress and the Treasury Department are able to work together productively.  Kathleen Kerrigan will work to guarantee taxpayers have an opportunity to make their voices heard in the U.S. Tax Court.  Henry Aaron will be a steady hand to help preserve and strengthen Social Security.” 

Baucus discussed the challenges that lie ahead for the economy and the important role Miller will play in job creation.  He said that Miller’s work as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Market has her well-prepared for even more responsibility.  Miller earned a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and her Master’s from the University of North Carolina. If confirmed as Under Secretary for Domestic Finance, Miller will provide advice on critical issues pertaining to financial institutions, fiscal policy and operations, and the federal debt. 

Baucus addressed the need for collaboration between Congress and the Treasury as they work to boost the economy and create jobs, and he said Fitzpayne will help the two work together with transparency.  Alastair Fitzpayne has been the Treasury Department’s deputy chief of staff since January 2009.  He has over a decade in tax, budget and financial policy advising experience, including advising former Rep. Rahm Emanuel during his time on the House Ways and Means Committee.   He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the UC Berkeley.  If confirmed as Deputy Under Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the Department of Treasury, Fitzpayne will serve as the principal contact and coordinator for all Department interaction with Congress.

Baucus spoke about the significance of Kerrigan’s experience serving as the tax and Social Security Counsel for the majority staff of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  She also served as Staff Director for the Finance Committee Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy, chaired by Senator Kerry.  Kerrigan is a graduate from Boston College and holds a law degree from Notre Dame.  As a Tax Court Judge, she will help ensure fair administration of our tax laws.

Baucus also spoke of Aaron’s vast experience and knowledge of Social Security and his ability to provide thoughtful advice.  Aaron is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution of Economic Studies Program, which he directed from 1990 to 1996.  Aaron has three decades of policy experience.  He served as the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and chaired the 1979 Advisory Council on Social Security.  He previously taught at the University of Maryland and at Harvard.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and his Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Harvard.  As a Member of the Social Security Advisory Board, Aaron would play a key role in counseling Congress and the President on Social Security issues.  

The Finance Committee will next meet at a later date to vote on the nominations.  If the Committee approves the nominations, they will then move to the full Senate for consideration and a confirmation vote.