Senate Democrats

Reid: No One Is Better Qualified or Prepared than Geithner to Lead Treasury During this Economic Crisis

Washington, DCSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on the floor of the U.S. Senate in support of Treasury Secretary Nominee Tim Geithner.  Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“In this time of economic crisis, I rise to voice my strong support for President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Treasury, Tim Geithner.

“In the past month, some of our country’s largest corporations have announced major layoffs numbering in total in the hundreds of thousands.  Today, the Nevada Department of Employment reported that unemployment in my state jumped to 9.1 percent in December.  The foreclosure crisis has not eased, nor has the credit crunch.  Uncertainty continues to reign on Wall Street, draining pension funds and individual investors of their savings and blocking the flow of credit for families and businesses that need it.

“This powerful economic storm demands strong, decisive and wise leadership.  No one is more qualified or prepared for the task than Tim Geithner.  Tim Geithner has spent his entire career as a public servant.  He’s worked at the Treasury Department, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

“With his experience and expertise, Tim Geithner could have written his own ticket to the private sector any time of his choosing.  In an age tarnished by corporate greed, how refreshing it is to see a man of obvious gifts choose to lead a life of public service.

“Tim Geithner was part of the core team that designed the government’s response to the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, as well as the current crisis.  At the New York Fed, he has worked closely with Chairman Bernanke and outgoing Treasury Secretary Paulson.  He has seen the crisis unfold as well as the initial Bush Administration response, and he is uniquely suited to know the difference between what has worked and what has failed.

“During his confirmation hearings and in meetings with members in recent weeks, Tim Geithner has shown a calm temperament and an eagerness to listen to and cooperate with Congress.  He clearly recognizes that the Congress is an equal partner, and that it will take a united effort to right our economy.

“Just as important, he understands that part of what we face is a crisis of confidence – and that the public’s confidence cannot be restored without transparency, oversight and taxpayer protections.

“There are few who envy the road ahead for the next Treasury Secretary.  There will be no easy fixes or cheap answers, but no one is better prepared than Tim Geithner to fill this critical role.  This nominee has my full support, and once he is confirmed, I expect him to have the full support of Congress in the difficult months and years that lie ahead.”