Mikulski Calls on Senate to Confirm Carolyn Colvin as Social Sec - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Mikulski Calls on Senate to Confirm Carolyn Colvin as Social Security Commissioner

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) on Tuesday spoke on the Senate floor to call for a vote confirming White House nominee Carolyn Colvin as Commissioner at the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA).

“I am on the floor of the Senate to advocate for Carolyn Colvin to be confirmed as the Social Security Commissioner, making her the Chief Executive Officer of the Social Security Administration," she said. "For the people who need Social Security, and for those who want to make sure the benefits are administered competently, we need a permanent Commissioner,” Senator Mikulski said. “I'm very frustrated that her nomination has become a casualty of the Senate clock and unfair attacks by some members of the Republican Party. We need a Social Security Commissioner and we need a competent, qualified person to lead it. And that person is Carolyn Colvin.”

Carolyn Watts Colvin of Anne Arundel County, Maryland is currently the Acting Commissioner of SSA, a position she has held since February 2013. Prior to this designation, she served as Deputy Commissioner of SSA beginning December 2010. Ms. Colvin received a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Morgan State University. Since January 2011, she has served as the Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund (also known as the Social Security Board of Trustees). From 2009 to 2010, Ms. Colvin was a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation for Maryland. From 2007 to 2008, Ms. Colvin was the Chief Executive Officer of Amerigroup Community Care of D.C.

Ms. Colvin was the Director of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services from 2003 to 2006 and the Director of the District of Columbia Department of Health and Human Services from 2001 to 2003. From 1994 to 2001, Ms. Colvin served in various roles at the Social Security Administration, including Deputy Commissioner for Operations from 1998 to 2001, Deputy Commissioner for Programs and Policy from 1996 to 1998, and Deputy Commissioner for Policy and External Affairs from 1994 to 1996.

Senator Mikulski's remarks on the Senate floor, as delivered, follow:

“I am on the floor of the Senate along with my colleague, Senator Ben Cardin from Maryland, to advocate for Carolyn Colvin to be confirmed as the Social Security Commissioner, making her the Chief Executive Officer of the Social Security Administration. I'm very frustrated that her nomination has become a casualty of the Senate clock and unfair attacks by some members of the Republican Party. We need a Social Security Commissioner and we need a competent, qualified person to lead it. And that person is Carolyn Colvin.

“Ms. Colvin's nomination is important because the work of the Social Security Administration is important. Over 60 million Americans rely on Social Security, including 900,000 in Maryland. Seniors, individuals with disabilities and children depend on the benefits and services of the Social Security Administration.

“It is a big agency with big responsibility. It supports 63,000 Social Security employees, including 11,000 at the headquarters in Woodlawn, Maryland.

“But it's not about the numbers. It's about what they do. The Social Security Administration administers $950 billion benefit payments - approximately 25 percent of all government spending. Last year, over 40 million people came to a Social Security Administration field office. Forty-seven million people called its 1-800 number. Five million came for their retirement benefits. And 2.8 million came for their disability benefits.

“I go through the numbers because it shows an agency with the magnitude of its responsibility making sure that we determine who is eligible for Social Security, that there is no fraud in Social Security and that it's administered in a competent, caring way for the American people. That means you have to have a permanent Commissioner, you cannot have someone acting.

“Now, that's why we go to Carolyn Colvin. She is skilled, she is seasoned and she is experienced. She started out as a clerk at Social Security in public service. She has risen through the ranks in a variety of very important positions, being well known and well respected as an excellent public administrator. She is a problem solver. She is a reformer. She has been the Deputy since December 2010 and the Acting Commissioner since February 2013.

“I'm frustrated at the attacks on Ms. Colvin. These attacks are about a techno boondoggle that began under her predecessor, not under her. In fact, she commissioned the McKinsey Management Corporation to study what the problem was. The minute she wanted to get to the bottom of it, she was accused of all kinds of things. Now, they have all been referred to the Inspector General. Her accusers would say, ‘Let's wait for the Inspector General.' But the Inspector Generals keep recusing themselves – for this reason, that reason. So while they are recusing, the Republicans are using it so we can't get to the confirmation of Carolyn Colvin.

“For the people who need Social Security, and for those who want to make sure the benefits are administered competently, we need a permanent Commissioner.

“Therefore, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the following nomination -- Calendar Number 1058, the nomination of Carolyn Watts Colvin to be the Commissioner of Social Security. And further, that the Senate proceed to vote on the confirmation of the nomination, the motion to reconsider be considered made, laid upon the table with no intervening action and debate. And that no further motions be in order to the nomination, and that any related statements be printed in the record and that the President be immediately notified of the Senate action.”

The Presiding Officer: Is there objection?

Senator Hatch (R-Utah): Mr. President?

The Presiding Officer: Objection being heard.

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