February 03, 2022

ICYMI: SFRC Chairman Menendez Delivers Floor Remarks in Support of Critical Foreign Policy Nominees

WASHINGTON – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) last night spoke on the Senate Floor in advance of votes to invoke cloture on and in support of the nominations of Dr. Amy Gutmann to be US Ambassador to Germany; Mr. Scott Nathan to be Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation; Ms. Lisa Carty to be U.S. Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council; and Ms. Chantale Wong to be United States Director of the Asian Development Bank. Final confirmation votes are expected later today. 

Find a copy of Chairman Menendez’s remarks as delivered below.

“Mr. President, I come to the floor today to voice my strong support for four highly qualified nominees that we are soon to vote on: Dr. Amy Gutmann to be US Ambassador to Germany; Mr. Scott Nathan to be Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation; Ms. Lisa Carty to be U.S. Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council; and Ms. Chantale Wong to be United States Director of the Asian Development Bank. They are all highly qualified. I will speak for a minute or two on Dr. Gutmann and Mr. Nathan in particular.

Our partnership with European allies is ever more critical as we attempt to deter further Russian escalation and aggressive behavior towards Ukraine. Germany is key to this effort – absolutely critical to the work we need to do to prevent Vladimir Putin from furthering his aims to reclaim a sphere of influence and destabilize Europe.

So while it was beyond irresponsible for some of our Republican colleagues to bottle up Dr. Gutmann’s nomination for months, I am pleased that we are close to getting a confirmed ambassador in Berlin – an ambassador who will help coordinate our joint efforts to stop a Russian invasion of Ukraine – an ambassador who will help repair the previous administration’s damage to the U.S.-German relationship – and an ambassador who will represent the United States with great skill and determination.

I would also note that Dr. Gutmann’s personal and professional background are a compelling fit for this position and for this moment. As the daughter of a German Jewish refugee who fled the Nazis and as an academic who has devoted her career to advancing freedom and democracy, she is the right person for the job in a moment where anti-Semitism is on the rise and dictators and autocrats around the world are emboldened.

I urge all of my colleagues to support Dr. Gutmann’s nomination and look forward to her arrival in Berlin in short order.

President Biden also made an excellent decision in nominating Scott Nathan to be the next Chief Executive Officer of the Development Finance Corporation.

The DFC – as that entity is known – is a critical tool for improving economic development outcomes in developing countries, advancing U.S. economic competitiveness, and creating new opportunities in underserved countries and communities.

While the DFC is only two years old, its importance to the advancement of U.S. foreign policy and international development priorities cannot be overstated.

Mr. Nathan’s will be able to draw on his leadership experience in both the private sector and in public service to ensure the DFC effectively leverages public-private partnerships and maximizes strategic development opportunities around the globe. He has the skills necessary to lead the agency to be competitive with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, to promote renewable energy development, and to support COVID-19 recovery, and at the same time to recognize and grapple with the complexity of these challenges.

I strongly support confirming Mr. Nathan and I am eager to work with him once confirmed.

All of these nominees deserve a positive, strong vote. With that Mr. President, I yield the floor.”

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