January 31,2024

Crapo Statement at Treasury, Social Security Advisory Board Nominations Hearing

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, delivered the following remarks at hearing to consider the nominations of Corey Anne Tellez to be Department of the Treasury Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, and Andrew G. Biggs, Kathryn Rose Lang and Sharon Beth Lewis to be Members of the Social Security Advisory Board.

As prepared for delivery:

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and welcome to our four nominees.  Congratulations on your nominations and thank you all for your willingness to serve.

“Today, we will first hear from Corey Anne Tellez who is nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the Treasury Department.

“This position is responsible for advising the Treasury Secretary on congressional relations, helping to formulate policy and shape the Department’s direction.

“Ms. Tellez, given your experience, you are no doubt aware of how important it is for the Executive Branch to cooperate and work closely with Congress, particularly the committees with direct oversight of the Treasury.

“While I do not expect the Treasury Secretary and members of Congress to always align on policy, I do expect the Treasury Secretary--and the broader Treasury Department--to be transparent and accountable to all members of this Committee.

“That means providing accurate, thorough and timely responses to questions and letters from members, an area in which there remains much work to be done--particularly on timeliness.

“If confirmed, it is essential that such communication improve at Treasury in order to facilitate greater policy understanding and better represent the American people we serve.

“Moving to the other three nominees under consideration today: Mr. Biggs, Ms. Lang and Ms. Lewis, who have been nominated to be members of the Social Security Advisory Board. 

“These are important positions, particularly given the operational challenges facing the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the long-term financing challenges facing the Social Security system. 

“Congress established the Social Security Advisory Board to advise the President, Congress and the Commissioner of Social Security on issues related to Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and the SSA’s service to the public. 

“The Board is comprised of seven members.  Four members are appointed by Congress--two from each political party--and the remaining three members are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.  No more than two of the President’s nominees may be from the same political party. 

“The three Social Security Advisory Board nominees before us today have strong qualifications, bring different perspectives and areas of expertise and will need to move through the confirmation process together. 

“If confirmed, I expect a commitment from the nominees to continue the Board’s general practice of operating by consensus and producing reports on a bipartisan basis. 

“I look forward to hearing the nominees’ testimony and their responses to questions.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”