The Democratic and Republican leaders of a Senate committee showed strong support Thursday for President Barack Obama’s nominee for comptroller general of the Government Accountability Office.
“We hope to get you confirmed before the lame-duck session ends,” Chairman Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) told nominee Gene Dodaro at the end of a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs confirmation hearing Thursday. The committee has not yet voted on his nomination to lead the GAO for a nonrenewable, 15-year term.
Dodaro, 59, has worked in the GAO for more than 30 years, including as chief operating officer and as head of the Accounting and Information Management Division, and he became acting comptroller general in March 2008 after Comptroller General David Walker resigned.
Panel ranking member Susan Collins (R-Maine) joked that the evident bipartisan support for Dodaro “kind of takes the suspense out” of the nomination process.
Lieberman, Collins and Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) were the only panel members in attendance at Thursday’s hearing. They questioned Dodaro about his priorities for the agency, which strives to identify and eliminate wasteful spending and programs in Congress and the executive branch. All four Senators expressed a desire for more aggressive GAO oversight, citing the economic challenges facing the country.
“I believe my experience as acting comptroller general of the United States for more than two years during a difficult period in our nation’s history and over my 30 years of service to the Congress and our own country, eight as GAO’s number two official, were contributing factors to ... my nomination by the president,” Dodaro wrote in a memo to the committee.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.