Chairman Mollohan, Congressman Frelinghuysen, and distinguished Members of this subcommittee, good morning. I appreciate the subcommittee’s invitation to offer my perspective on the Department of Commerce fiscal year 2008 budget request.
This subcommittee is in a unique position to assess the work of the Department. Responsibility for authorizing and overseeing the work of the various Department operating agencies is spread among a number of House committees and subcommittees. Only the Appropriations Committee and this subcommittee have a formal process in place to assess the Department as a whole. I believe that, without treading on the purview of authorizing and oversight committees, you can play a valuable role in identifying issues and providing guidance and direction for the Department as a whole. Essentially, I believe, this subcommittee serves as the investment committee for the Department of Commerce, and it is in your interest to seek the highest feasible return on your investment.
My observations are based on various FY2008 Department of Commerce budget documents, the newly released draft Department FY2007-FY2012 strategic plan, and my professional interactions with seven of the Department’s agencies.