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Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) and the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Brian Deese to the position of Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 

Mr. Deese testified on the need to achieve responsible deficit reduction and to provide economic opportunity and stability for working families: 

“Much of my professional work has focused on the role that fiscal policy can play in promoting stronger and more durable economic growth. I believe that sound fiscal policy requires all of us to not shy away from our long-term fiscal challenges and to work diligently to reduce our deficits to strengthen the economy for both current and future generations. If confirmed, I will work closely with Director Burwell to build on the progress we have made and to help find common ground on the kind of comprehensive deficit reduction plan that will achieve these vital objectives.” 

“I believe the Budget is fundamentally a vision for how Government and those of us in public service can deliver better outcomes for our economy and middle class families. It is, in essence, a reflection of our values and priorities as a country. If confirmed, I will work every day to uphold those values and priorities.” 

Mr. Deese’s full testimony can be found here

Key Excerpts from Murray’s opening statement: 

“I am confident Brian possesses the kind of experience, knowledge, and judgment necessary to succeed in this leadership position – and to help bring a balanced and responsible approach to our budget challenges.” 

“As a chief architect of the auto rescue plan, Brian reinvigorated a definitive American industry during a time of deep economic uncertainty – and he did it in a way that also helped our economy recover.”

“Brian has a track record of putting middle class families over Wall Street profits —and it is my belief that he will bring these values to the budget process at OMB.”

“It is clear that he has a strong understanding of economic and budgetary policy. And, he knows firsthand how to create fiscal policies that work for middle class families and help our economy grow.”

Watch Chairman Murray give her opening statement.

 

Chairman Murray’s opening statement: 

“This hearing will now come to order. 

“Before we begin, I want to take a moment to join the President in expressing my sadness at the heartbreaking destruction in Oklahoma. 

“Too many people have lost so much—loved ones, their children, their homes and livelihoods – and many more are injured and fighting for their lives.    

“I know I join the President, my colleagues here and all Americans in saying that my thoughts are with all of those affected by this tragedy. 

“At times like these, I know that we are all also incredibly grateful for the heroic work of our first responders who are working to help those impacted by the storm. 

“And I will work with my colleagues to do everything I can to provide them, and the communities affected, with the resources they need for relief and to recover from this disaster as quickly as possible. 

“I’d like to thank ranking member Senator Sessions—and all of my colleagues for joining me here today. As well as members of the public here or watching online. 

“Today we are considering President Obama’s nomination of Brian Deese to be the next Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget. 

“Brian – thank you for joining us here today. I’d also like to recognize and welcome Brian’s family, who are also with us today -- his wife, Kara, and his parents Patricia and David. As we all know, the support of our families is so important to those of us in public service – so thank you to Kara, Patricia and David, as well as the rest of Brian’s family, for your dedication and sacrifices as well. 

“This nomination comes at a critical time for our country. We continue to face serious fiscal and economic challenges that we need to work together to address. The American people are looking to us to end the constant artificial crises and political brinksmanship that is threatening our fragile economic recovery. It’s time that we stop governing from crisis to crisis, and return stability and regular order to our budget process. 

“That’s why I am proud of the work we did here in the Budget Committee and on the Senate floor last month to write, debate, and pass a responsible budget plan that puts economic growth and the middle class first, and that tackles our deficit and debt responsibly. 

“It has now been 59 days since the Senate and House have each passed budgets—the President has weighed in with his proposal—and the next step in the budget process is for the two sides to come together in a conference committee and work toward a bipartisan deal. 

“Democrats and Republicans have been talking about the need to return to regular order—including some of my Republicans colleagues on this committee who just a few months ago were explicit about the fact that once the two chambers passed their budgets, the work of conferencing must begin. 

“So I have been very disappointed that Senate Republicans seem to now be backtracking from that, and have blocked us from moving to conference every single time we have asked over the past few weeks. 

“But I am hopeful that this obstruction ends soon—because I had thought that the one thing Democrats and Republicans could agree on is that we should be working together to return stability and regular order to a budget process that has been broken and chaotic for far too long. 

“Aside from the recent budget conference obstruction, there have been some recent positive steps. Last month, the Senate voted unanimously—96 to 0—to confirm Sylvia Burwell as the next director of OMB. It is critical that we continue to have strong and consistent leadership at OMB—especially now as we work together toward a responsible, bipartisan budget agreement. 

“I know that Sylvia will be a great leader – but we can’t afford to have vacancies in other key budget positions during this important time for our economy.

“That’s why today’s hearing in consideration of Brian Deese to be the next Deputy Director of OMB is so important. 

“Brian has been a key part of the Administration’s economic team over the past six years—as a top economic advisor on the campaign and transition team, then as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and now as the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. 

“In these roles, he was instrumental in pulling our economy back from the Great Recession, making sure key American industries remained healthy and strong, and investing in policies that boosted the economy and created millions of new jobs. 

“As a chief architect of the auto rescue plan, Brian reinvigorated a definitive American industry during a time of deep economic uncertainty – and he did it in a way that also helped our economy recover. 

“Brian recognized that letting Detroit go bankrupt would actually increase federal spending on programs like Medicaid and unemployment insurance – and that by instead investing in American workers and jobs we could spur economic growth. And he was right – the auto rescue helped save a million American jobs, and the auto industry today is thriving. 

“We’ve also started to see the government make important headway on reducing our deficit responsibly during Brian’s time in the Administration. 

“Just last week, CBO released its latest baseline. These revisions show that we’ve begun to make significant progress on reducing our short and medium-term deficits.

“This is welcome news. CBO now estimates that the deficit for 2013 will be more than $200 billion less than its February projection. This means that in two years, CBO expects the deficit will have fallen in half.

“To be clear, we still have important work to do to continue to tackle our longer-term debt and deficit challenges in a responsible and fair way – but we should acknowledge that under this administration, we’ve begun to make significant progress. 

“In fact, just on Friday, CBO informed us that the President’s 2014 budget continues this important progress, by first stabilizing the debt by 2015, and then lowering it further as a share of the economy to down below 70 percent by 2023. 

“As a key economic expert over the past four-and-a-half years in the administration, Brian has been part of these efforts. 

“So I am pleased that he will bring this important knowledge of fiscal and economic policy with him to his new role at OMB.  We’ll discuss these issues further with him here today. 

“Brian also made comprehensive Wall Street reform a priority during his time in the administration – working to put in place measures to protect the country against the devastating impact of another financial crisis. 

“As someone who grew up working at my dad’s five and dime store on Main Street in Bothell, Washington—I couldn’t agree more that we need to bring Main Street values back to our financial system. 

“That’s why as Chairman of this committee, I’ve made an effort to bring those values to our budget process as well. 

“I believe that budgets are a reflection of our priorities, and they are about families across America who are impacted by the decisions we make. 

“So I’m glad that Brian has a track record of putting middle class families over Wall Street profits —and it is my belief that he will bring these values to the budget process at OMB. 

“Brian also knows that we need to create a sustainable path for future economic growth. 

“Our country has serious deficit and debt challenges, but we also face equally significant deficits in education, worker skills, infrastructure, and innovation. We need to keep investing in infrastructure, jobs, our students and our workers.We can’t continue to sacrifice long-term investments to solve short term problems. 

“So I appreciate that, as Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, Brian emphasized that we need to do more than just recover from our current fiscal challenges – we need to invest in future growth and ensure that we can compete in the global economy of tomorrow. 

“I share this commitment to investing in our future – and I look forward to working with Brian to make sure these important investment priorities are reflected in our budget process.

 

“There are tough challenges before Brian, Sylvia, and all of us here on the Budget Committee. 

“I had the chance to sit down with Brian earlier this month, and I’m looking forward to hearing from him more today. It is clear that he has a strong understanding of economic and budgetary policy. And, he knows firsthand how to create fiscal policies that work for middle class families and help our economy grow. 

“So I am confident Brian possesses the kind of experience, knowledge, and judgment necessary to succeed in this leadership position – and to help bring a balanced and responsible approach to our budget challenges. 

“I hope that we can move quickly on this nomination since we need to return stability to our budget process, and filling this position is an important part of that effort. And I hope to schedule a Committee vote on this nomination soon so that the full Senate can confirm the nominee in a timely manner.

“I look forward to asking Brian some questions following his testimony. But we will first turn to Senator Sessions, the Ranking Member of this Committee, for his opening statement.”

 

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