06.09.16

Sen. Burr on Democrats’ Attempt to Block Their Own Nominees in Finance Committee Nomination Hearing: Political Grandstanding

WASHINGTON –Today, Senator Burr made the following statement on the Senate Finance Committee Democrats’ attempt to block President Obama’s own nominees for the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees in a brazen attempt at political grandstanding:

“Today, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee attempted to block President Obama’s own nominees, Mr. Charles Blahous and Mr. Robert Reischauer, to the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees.  They seem to have a selectively forgotten that both of these individuals were approved unanimously by Senate Democrats in a Democrat-controlled Senate in 2010, when President Obama nominated them to this post.  President Obama has re-nominated both of these men for this position, but today Finance Democrats decided to create a political spectacle where there should be none.  The job of the Board of Trustees is simply to monitor and report on the health of Social Security and Medicare, and President Obama’s senior cabinet officials, including Treasury Secretary Lew, Labor Secretary Perez, Health and Human Services’ Secretary Burwell, and Acting Social Security Commissioner Colvin, have already approved and signed these very reports for the last six years. To characterize these public servants as anything other than President Obama’s appointees with a solid record of career service is deplorable. I am disappointed with Committee Democrats for their grandstanding and their corruption of these individuals’ fine records when they know better.”

Background:

The Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees consist of the Secretaries of Treasury, Labor, HHS, the Commissioner of Social Security, and two public trustees, one from each party.  One purpose of the boards is to provide yearly reports on the operation of the trust funds and their current and projected status. These nominees are both serving members of the Board and were re-nominated by the President.  The reports they produced were signed by four of the highest ranking Obama Administration officials - Treasury Secretary Lew, Labor Secretary Perez, HHS Secretary Burwell, and Acting Social Security Commissioner Colvin.  The Board of Trustees has no power to change Social Security or Medicare.  That authority is reserved for Congress.  Their only job is to monitor and report on the health of Social Security and Medicare. Senator Burr is a member of the Senate Finance Committee.