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Orrin H.
Republican UT

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  • Nomination of Antony Blinken to Be Deputy Secretary of State

    by Senator Orrin G. Hatch

    Posted on 2014-12-16

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    HATCH. Reserving the right to object.



    The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.

    Mr. HATCH. No, Mr. President; reserving the right to object.

    I spoke at length on the floor about my opposition to confirming Ms. Colvin at this time. While I do not doubt Ms. Colvin's qualifications for this position, there is a cloud hanging over her nomination, and I do not believe the Senate should move forward with her confirmation until that cloud is removed.

    Since Ms. Colvin's nomination was reported out of the Finance Committee, several sources, including the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and individual whistleblowers have reported that the Social Security Administration, over a 6-year period, burned through $300 million in a failed attempt to develop and implement the Disability Case Processing System or DCPS. Some of this happened on Ms. Colvin's watch as she has served as Acting Commissioner of the SSA.

    Sadly, it gets worse. We also heard allegations from multiple sources that SSA officials intentionally misled the agency's inspector general, as well as Congress, about the deficiencies in the development of the DCPS in order to facilitate Ms. Colvin's confirmation in the Senate.

    These are serious allegations, and an investigation--one that may very well conclude a criminal element--is ongoing. Once again, Ms. Colvin currently serves as the Acting Commissioner of SSA. This investigation includes people working in her immediate office.

    Put simply, the Senate should not move forward on her nomination until this matter is resolved. I intend to work with our two colleagues from Maryland to see if we can resolve this issue. It may very well be that Ms. Colvin has done nothing wrong. I voted for her out of committee. I certainly hope she has done nothing wrong. I hope that is the case. But we should at least be sure before we move her nomination forward; therefore, I have to object at this time.

    I believe my colleague Senator Isakson may have some comments on this matter as well.

    I will surely try to work with my colleagues and see if we can expedite this if there is no problem.

    I have nothing against Ms. Colvin at all. In fact, I interviewed her in my office. I quite enjoyed meeting with her.

    We will see what we can do to move this forward, but as of right now I have to object.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.

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