July 13,2021

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Taylor Harvey/Keith Chu 202-224-4515

Wyden Statement at Finance Committee Business Meeting on the Nominations of Melanie Egorin to HHS, Sarah Bianchi and Jayme White to USTR

As Prepared for Delivery

The Committee meets this morning to vote on three nominations for important roles within the Biden administration. 

Dr. Melanie Egorin is nominated to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Legislation at HHS. Dr. Egorin is currently a top staff member on the House Ways and Means Committee. Chairman Neal joined this committee for last month’s nomination hearing, and he talked about Dr. Egorin’s professionalism, her diligence and her ability to bring people together. He also spoke about her deep experience on health policy, and particularly her steadfast commitment to defending and strengthening the Affordable Care Act.

If and when Dr. Egorin is confirmed, this committee is going to keep her busy. From mental health care to prescription drug costs to home and community based services and more, the Finance Committee is hard at work on improving health care in America. It’s going to take a lot of close collaboration with Secretary Becerra and his team at HHS to tackle these big challenges, and Dr. Egorin will have a big role to play in the months and years ahead.

Next up are two nominees up for positions as Deputy U.S. Trade Representatives under Ambassador Tai: Sarah Bianchi and Jayme White. Ms. Bianchi is a longtime member of the Biden economic team who has served in a lot of different policy roles – the Office of Management and Budget, the Domestic Policy Council, the Office of the Vice President, as a staff member here in the Senate. She’s helped to build an agenda for the Biden administration that’s all about making our economy more competitive and giving workers and their families a better chance to get ahead.

Jayme White is a familiar face here at the Finance Committee. He’s worked in my office since 2009 and has been the top trade and competitiveness advisor for the Senate Finance Committee Democrats since 2014. I know from firsthand experience that Jayme gets results. For example, Jayme was the key staff member responsible for the passage of the ENFORCE Act in 2016, and it is now a key trade enforcement tool that Customs uses to protect American workers. As a result of Jayme’s and Ambassador Tai’s work during the previous administration, USMCA raised the bar over any previous agreement when it comes to labor and the environment. He’s a leader on digital trade. And thanks to Jayme’s hard work on transparency and accountability, members of Congress and the American people are no longer in the dark about trade negotiations while they’re happening.

These two trade nominees help to build out an excellent team at USTR. Both are highly experienced and knowledgeable. Based on their hearing, it was clear that both share Ambassador Tai’s commitment to bringing the two sides together around policies that get trade done right. And with Ambassador Tai having been confirmed by a vote of 98-0, it’s clear that there’s a strong interest in bipartisan progress on trade. So I’ll be supporting both USTR nominees as well as Dr. Egorin today. I urge all my colleagues to do the same, and I look forward to working with them in the near future.