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John I.
Republican GA

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  • Nomination of Antony Blinken to Be Deputy Secretary of State

    by Senator Johnny Isakson

    Posted on 2014-12-16

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    ISAKSON. Mr. President, I have the greatest of regard for my two colleagues from the State of Maryland, and I respect their passion for this nominee, but I rise to support delaying the advancement of Carolyn Colvin for the Social Security Administration, and I wish to explain why. In fact, my reasons somewhat address some of the reasons for my urgency.

    I interviewed Carolyn Colvin on July 29 as a nominee to come before the Finance Committee in my office, as I do with every nominee who will talk to me. It was 2 days after the 2014 trustee's report of the Social Security Administration--a report that talked about the disability trust fund being in danger by 2016 and Social Security being in danger in 22 years.

    I asked her questions about what she would recommend to us to fix the unfunded mandates that would be coming up with Social Security. Her answers were at best glib and at worst nonexistent.

    I was one of the two votes against her nomination that Senator Cardin referred to in the committee because I didn't feel I got the kind of passionate answer I needed from her as someone who was going to run the Social Security Administration.

    Subsequent to that vote, and before today's debate, the issue came up arising from the disability technology problem and the investigation that is taking place at the Social Security Administration.

    I recognize this implementation took place before she was in the position she is now in, but she is in a position of responsibility at the Administration. So until that investigation is complete, I think it would be a rush to judgment to confirm her for the position.

    I don't get up and oppose many people on the floor of the Senate. I take my job very seriously, but I do represent the people of my State-- those who are Social Security beneficiaries today and those who will be beneficiaries in the future.

    I was reading an announcement today about the chief counsel, who is also the State director in my office in Georgia, Edward Tate. He and his wife recently had a baby, Whitaker McMillan Tate, born 4 months ago. Seventy years from now he will probably be a beneficiary in the Social Security Administration. We have to fix it in some way so it is there for him in the future.

    I want to make sure the appointees we approve in this Senate are appointees--while they have the Social Security Administration under their care--who will do the things I would want them to do so when I am long gone, those children who will be beneficiaries in the future will have the funds and the money and the Administration to see to it that they are paid.

    Reluctantly, but for reasons of commitment, I object to the advancement of the nomination of Carolyn Colvin to the Social Security Administration.

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