[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 24 (Friday, February 10, 2017)]
[Pages S1073-S1090]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                           EXECUTIVE SESSION


                           EXECUTIVE CALENDAR

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the 
Senate will proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the 
following nomination, which the clerk will report.
  The assistant bill clerk read the nomination of Steven T. Mnuchin, of 
California, to be Secretary of the Treasury.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Madam President, the Senate is now debating the nomination 
of Steven Mnuchin to be the Secretary of the Treasury, and this is yet 
another nomination on which the majority has walked away, 
unfortunately, from a 20-year bipartisan approach when it comes to the 
vetting process.
  In 2009, when Tim Geithner was President Obama's first Treasury 
nominee, a vetting issue came up and both sides of the Finance 
Committee carried the investigation out to its conclusion, but the 
situation has turned out quite differently this time.
  There were several properties in the United States and abroad worth 
$100 million missing from Mr. Mnuchin's disclosure. He failed to 
disclose several positions in various firms. He misled the public. He 
misled the committee about his bank foreclosure tactics, and he appears 
to have hidden key data requested by Members of this body. Frankly, I 
don't believe these investigations would have been uncovered at all if 
not for the work of the minority's investigation team. The majority, 
however, looked the other way, and the vetting process was ended 
prematurely. So the vote on this nomination is imminent. That is the 
first concern held by Members on this side, and I am going to speak 
more about that today and as this debate continues.
  This morning, though, I want to focus on the substance of our 
  The single biggest challenge is what to do to reconnect working 
Americans with this country's economic engine. There are communities 
across the land, including many in my home State of Oregon where folks 
are just waiting for economic recovery to show up. They see their homes 
foreclosed, storefronts boarded up, factories shuttered. They

[[Page S1074]]

just feel stuck. Aside from the President himself, nobody in America 
has greater influence over this Nation's economic future than the U.S. 
Treasury Secretary. That is the case whether it is through tax reform 
that fights unfairness, rules that rein in Wall Street abuses, or smart 
infrastructure and trade policies that create good-paying jobs here at 
home. We call them red, white, and blue jobs.
  The person who becomes Treasury Secretary has to be somebody who is 
ready to work on behalf of all Americans, including those Americans 
from the corners of our Nation where optimism has dimmed. If Steven 
Mnuchin's record is any indication, he simply doesn't fit that mold, 
not even close.
  There is a lot to debate as the Senate considers Mr. Mnuchin's 
nomination. Particularly significant, in my judgment as the ranking 
member on the Senate Finance Committee, is the issue of how our Tax 
Code punishes wage-earning Americans. I am going to cover that this 
morning. In my view, though, the debate begins with the story of 
OneWest, Mr. Mnuchin's bank. It begins with a lot of gory details of 
how OneWest industrialized the process of kicking people out of their 
homes and onto the streets, and it begins with the details of how Mr. 
Mnuchin enriched himself at the same time his foreclosure machine was 
  As I described, the financial crisis was a personal setback from 
which a lot of Americans still have not recovered, but for Mr. Mnuchin, 
it wasn't exactly a setback at all. In fact, it was the deal of a 
lifetime. In March, 2009, Mr. Mnuchin led a group of investors who 
bought IndyMac Bank, one of several banks that had been engulfed in 
crisis the year before.
  Mr. Mnuchin and his group got an unusually sweet deal from the 
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, buying $23.5 billion worth of 
assets for less than $1.6 billion. IndyMac was renamed OneWest Bank and 
it opened up shop the very next day.
  As part of this sweetheart deal, Mr. Mnuchin got what is known as a 
Shared-Loss Agreement from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. 
Under the deal with OneWest, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 
made nearly $900 billion in payments to OneWest for IndyMac loans. 
Total payments from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to 
OneWest, including payments for loans made to OneWest subsidiaries 
First Federal, La Jolla, and Financial Freedom, were $1.22 billion.
  It didn't take long after Mr. Mnuchin rolled out the newly branded 
OneWest for the bank to be investigated by State attorneys general 
around the country. Already they had big concerns about OneWest's 
foreclosure practices, and this, in my view, is where you see the guts 
of the foreclosure machine beginning to show itself.
  As part of this investigation, a OneWest vice president who worked 
under Mr. Mnuchin, Erica Johnson-Seck, admitted under oath to the 
practice known as robo-signing. This witness said she signed more than 
750 foreclosure documents a week without reading them and with no 
notary present during the process. That is a violation of the law. When 
asked how much time she spent executing each foreclosure document, Ms. 
Johnson-Seck replied: ``I changed my signature considerably. It's just 
an E now. So not more than 30 seconds.''
  It was not just Ms. Johnson-Seck. She was part of an entire team 
operating at this pace. In her deposition, Ms. Johnson-Seck stated 
there were about 1,100 documents signed by her office each day, or 
roughly 6,000 a week.
  So amid an economic meltdown--our Nation shedding hundreds of 
thousands of jobs, families facing an uncertain future--Mr. Mnuchin 
found a way to profit. He bought a bank from the Federal Deposit 
Insurance Corporation at an extreme discount. He struck a deal with the 
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation so he could be reimbursed for 80 
percent or more of the bank's losses. He had at least one team in place 
that could sign 6,000 foreclosure documents a week--6,000 individuals 
and families a week thrown into this nightmare of potentially losing 
their homes. Mr. Mnuchin and OneWest were churning out foreclosures 
with ruthless efficiency. That doesn't sound to me like somebody who is 
going to be the kind of person who is going to look out for the 
interests of working families.
  I want to talk a little bit about some who were victimized by 
OneWest's industrialized foreclosure. One of those was Dee Roberson, 
who in 2010 shared her story with the Orlando Sentinel. Ms. Roberson 
told them her parents were struggling to pay off the balance of their 
mortgage with OneWest. The mortgage had a balance of just $3,000, and 
Ms. Roberson was trying to help her parents get to the finish line, but 
instead of the usual mortgage payment of $600, OneWest demanded over 
$1,000 a month. OneWest said the home was in foreclosure and wanted 
$4,000 in attorneys' fees, but the Robersons had never received a 
foreclosure notice. When Ms. Roberson called OneWest to sort things 
out, it was just one big runaround.
  Gerald Lembach is an Army retiree who needed cash to finish an 
addition on his modest ranch-style home in Pasadena, MD. He and his 
wife had owned their home for 23 years. According to a story in the 
Baltimore Sun, Mr. Lembach discovered the monthly cost for the new loan 
was much higher than what he expected. Instead of the $3,200 monthly 
bill he anticipated, it was almost $4,300. OneWest, which took over the 
servicing of Mr. Lembach's loan in 2009, denied his request for a 
modification in October 2010, a month after it had started foreclosure 
proceedings. He struggled with the process, and he hired an attorney 
who noticed something that struck him as very odd. Signatures on the 
foreclosure documents were fakes. In fact, various foreclosure 
processors around the State of Maryland had been signing under the same 
lawyer's name, but even with this discovery of false signatures, it 
didn't bring about the speedy modification that Mr. Lembach was hoping 
  Rose Gudiel and her family bought a small house in 2005, making 
payments on the mortgage until her brother was murdered in 2009 and the 
family lost his income. The next mortgage payment was 2 weeks late. 
OneWest said it wouldn't accept it, and Ms. Gudiel had to apply for a 
loan modification instead, but OneWest didn't actually own the 
mortgage, they were only servicing it. They didn't even have the 
authority to grant a modification. So this citizen was caught in limbo 
for 2 years, unable to modify the loan and at the same time had to 
fight eviction.
  Out of options, Ms. Gudiel and a group of protestors went to Mr. 
Mnuchin's home, protesting outside and demanding answers. Shortly 
thereafter, despite OneWest's claim that there was nothing they could 
do to help Ms. Gudiel, they relented. She was allowed to keep her home, 
but it took essentially a four-alarm public relations calamity to make 
that happen.

  Mark and Jenny Gin are another case Mr. Mnuchin may have heard about. 
The Gins sued OneWest in San Mateo Superior Court, and they won.
  I will just describe a little bit from the San Francisco Chronicle 
how their case played out. While the Gins were making dozens of calls 
and submitting reams of paperwork to get a loan modification from 
OneWest, another department of the bank proceeded to foreclose on their 
home. This is especially important because this is a phenomenon known 
as dual tracking.
  OneWest strung the Gins along for months before telling them just to 
send in their loan modification application. They said the Gins would 
have an answer in 30 to 60 days. But instead of a modification, they 
got an eviction notice. They were forced out of their home while Ms. 
Gin was 8 months pregnant and grappling with a breast cancer diagnosis.
  They were left with no choice but to take OneWest to court. Their 
legal battle stretched more than 2 years. The costs were so substantial 
that even a victory in court could not save their home.
  Those are all examples of typical mortgages--everyday homeowners 
caught up in OneWest's exceptional and ruthless foreclosure practices.
  But it wasn't just your typical mortgage that OneWest foreclosed 
upon; the bank had a big reverse mortgage operation called Financial 
Freedom, and the foreclosure machine was running and running and 
running over there too.
  The goal of a reverse mortgage is to give older people--62 or older--
the opportunity to use the equity in their homes to help cover the 
bills. Unfortunately, it doesn't always go smoothly.

[[Page S1075]]

In OneWest's reverse mortgage division, it often went terribly wrong.
  A lot of older couples of modest incomes who got reverse mortgages 
put them under only one name, often the husband's. But here is the 
catch: If the person whose name appeared on the documents passed away, 
the terms of the reverse mortgage required the loan to be paid back in 
full. If it wasn't, then the foreclosure process once again kicks in.
  So you have a family where first they lose their loved one, then they 
lose their home, and they are caught up in this nightmare scenario of a 
reverse mortgage. A common name for this practice--it almost hurts to 
say it--is ``widow foreclosure.'' Widow foreclosure.
  According to documents reviewed by the California Reinvestment 
Coalition, during the first 6 years Mr. Mnuchin ran OneWest, the bank 
accounted for nearly 40 percent of all federally insured reverse 
mortgage foreclosures. They led the Nation in widow foreclosures.
  You know, if you think about what you can lead the Nation in and you 
are thinking about trying to help hard-hit families, the kinds of 
families I just described, I would like to lead the Nation in terms of 
reaching out and finding imaginative ways to help them, to really go to 
bat for them, take them through the process, create something that is 
fair and commonsense.
  What does this bank do? They lead the Nation in widow foreclosures.
  In one case, OneWest and its predecessor tried to foreclose on an 
elderly Florida woman. That was twice. The first time, Mr. Mnuchin's 
bank tried to foreclose on her home and filed paperwork saying she 
didn't live there. When they finally discovered she, in fact, did live 
in the home, they backed off. Two years later, OneWest's new parent 
company, CIT, where Mr. Mnuchin was a board member, tried to foreclose 
again. This time it was over an unpaid bill of 27 cents.
  This involved a woman who was 90. A woman who was 90 was involved in 
a foreclosure with an unpaid bill of 27 cents. She had to fight to keep 
her home twice because she was bombarded with petty and inaccurate 
allegations from Mr. Mnuchin's bank.
  The President recently tweeted out an allegation that this story was 
``fake news'' because the elderly woman never actually lost her home. 
The ordeal that OneWest's foreclosure machine put her through certainly 
was not fake news to her and others who were up against this activity.
  While OneWest was putting thousands of homeowners through the 
nightmare of foreclosure, Mr. Mnuchin used the bank's money to make 
some pretty flashy investments in Hollywood. In September 2012, OneWest 
led a group of financial institutions that established a revolving 
credit facility for Relativity Media of hundreds of millions of 
dollars. Relativity was a movie studio led by a flamboyant executive 
named Ryan Kavanaugh.
  Press accounts also claim that Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Kavanaugh became 
good friends. In fact, even though Mr. Kavanaugh was a client who owed 
his bank hundreds of millions of dollars, he and Mr. Mnuchin bought a 
private jet together and then traveled to various kinds of film 
festivals around the world. They were even investing in real estate 
together. They put millions into a shell company, HMBAC LLC, which 
owned property in Southern California.
  In October of 2014, Mr. Mnuchin decided to buy into Mr. Kavanaugh's 
movie studio himself. He purchased a stake. He was appointed cochairman 
of Relativity.
  So while he was pulling double duty on the boards of OneWest and 
Relativity, OneWest had to report the size of the insider loans the 
bank was making to Relativity. As a share of bank capital, OneWest's 
insider loans exceeded 94 of the country's 100 biggest financial 
  Unfortunately, Mr. Mnuchin's time with Relativity didn't go so hot. 
Each year from 2012 to 2014, the studio suffered eight- or nine-figure 
losses. Finally, in 2015, Relativity's problems came to a head, but it 
owed OneWest and Mr. Mnuchin a huge sum of money.
  On May 29, 2015, Mr. Mnuchin quit the board. A few days later, funds 
totaling $50 million in cash were swept back to OneWest from several 
Relativity operating accounts. One of those accounts was earmarked to 
pay guild expenses--salaries for everyday contractors and production 
tradespeople. That put the nail in Relativity's coffin, and the studio 
declared bankruptcy.
  Mr. Mnuchin's adventure of putting OneWest money into Relativity 
might have been a big mess, but it sure didn't do much damage to the 
bank's bottom line.
  Around the time Relativity crumbled, OneWest was purchased by an even 
bigger group, the CIT Group, at a massive profit. Mr. Mnuchin and his 
investors originally bought the bank in 2009 for less than $1.6 
billion. In 2015, CIT Group bought it from Mr. Mnuchin and his partners 
for $3.4 billion.
  In between, while tens of thousands of Americans were going through 
this daily nightmare of losing their homes, the bank had paid out more 
than $1 billion in dividends to Mr. Mnuchin and its other owners.
  Buying OneWest was literally the deal of a lifetime for Mr. Mnuchin, 
but the bank's conduct caught the attention of Federal watchdogs more 
than once. In 2011, the Office of Thrift Supervision conducted an 
examination of OneWest's foreclosure process, and I am just going to 
outline a few of the findings. These are the findings of the Office of 
Thrift Supervision, which is in the business of monitoring and 
examining these institutions.
  They found, for example, that OneWest employees filed affidavits in 
State and Federal courts, falsely stating that they had conducted a 
review and had personal knowledge regarding the details of a disputed 
mortgage, including principal and interest due or other fees and 
expenses when no such reviews had taken place.
  OneWest employees filed documents in State and Federal courts that 
had not been signed or affirmed in the presence of a notary.
  OneWest litigated foreclosure and bankruptcy proceedings without 
ensuring that the promissory notes were properly endorsed or assigned 
and in possession of the appropriate party at the appropriate time.
  OneWest failed to devote sufficient resources to the administration 
of its foreclosure and loan modifications procedures.
  OneWest management failed to enact adequate internal oversight and 
controls to its foreclosure processes.
  Finally, OneWest failed to adequately oversee the outside lawyers 
handling foreclosure-related services.
  The Office of Thrift Supervision also demanded that OneWest take 
corrective action, and it issued what is known as a consent order. 
Basically in English, this OneWest consent order was an agreement to 
clean up its act. The order was signed personally by Mr. Mnuchin and 
the OneWest board of directors. They had been running OneWest for 2 
years at this point, and the company was rife with problems.
  In 2014, another watchdog stepped in. This time, it was the Office of 
the Comptroller of the Currency. Their audit found that more than 
10,000 OneWest borrowers were due $8.5 million for improper foreclosure 
practices. According to the same report, OneWest paid nearly $3 million 
to 54 borrowers for violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 
which protects members of our armed services from losing their homes 
while they are serving our country.
  So just think about that one. Here is the bank having to pay 
borrowers $3 million for violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief 
Act. This is what protects the courageous people who serve our country. 
It is a law that protects these people from losing their homes while 
they put themselves at great risk, may make the ultimate sacrifice, and 
every day, their families at home are worrying about them and often 
worrying about their finances.
  According to this report, OneWest paid nearly $3 million to 54 
borrowers who violated this law that protects the courageous men and 
women who wear the uniform of the United States.
  At the heart of these investigations was the issue of robo-signing, 
the practice I have spoken about earlier in the context of the OneWest 
team churning out 6,000 foreclosure documents a week. Senator Casey and 
Senator Brown on our committee really zeroed in on this issue. And it 
was particularly concerning in this context to Senator Casey, who 
represents a lot of people

[[Page S1076]]

who lost their homes to foreclosures by Mr. Mnuchin's bank.
  So Senator Casey put the question to Mr. Mnuchin in writing after Mr. 
Mnuchin had his Finance Committee hearing. Senator Casey asked pretty 
simply: Did OneWest robo-sign documents?
  This was a straightforward question, and based on the public record, 
the answer should have been a straightforward ``yes.'' Instead, Mr. 
Mnuchin replied, ``OneWest Bank did not robo-sign documents.''
  Years of documented proof say that is false. So the committee gave 
Mr. Mnuchin an opportunity to amend his response. Once again, Mr. 
Mnuchin denied--denied--the truth. First he said, ``The concept of 
`robo-signing' generally referred to two distinct but related issues: 
(a) a signer of a foreclosure affidavit attested to facts that were not 
verified to be accurate; or (b) a signer of a foreclosure affidavit 
represented himself or herself to be someone else.''
  So that is a fancy way to explain. When we gave him an opportunity to 
amend his answer, Mr. Mnuchin again denied the truth on this question 
of OneWest robo-signing documents.
  And he went on to say, ``OneWest did not do these things.''
  There is just no way of getting around it--none. That statement is 
flat wrong.
  The language Mr. Mnuchin used to redefine robo-signing is nearly 
identical to the language used by the Office of Thrift Supervision in 
the findings of its investigation. Given the watchdogs report, 
testimony from OneWest employees, and the public record, Mr. Mnuchin 
cannot possibly, in good faith, claim that OneWest did not robo-sign. 
In fact, Mr. Mnuchin's signature is on one of the documents that proves 
otherwise, the Office of Thrift Supervision consent order. He ran the 
bank. Surely, he had to read the document before signing it. So Mr. 
Mnuchin misled the Finance Committee and the American people on robo-
signing, directly contradicting a mountain of evidence.

  Senators Casey and Brown represent States where a lot of families 
were hammered through foreclosures pursued by Mr. Mnuchin's bank. 
Senator Casey and Senator Brown decided to do some more digging into 
the information. Senator Casey sought OneWest national foreclosure 
figures. Senator Brown asked for a State-by-State breakdown. This 
information was never provided.
  At first Mr. Mnuchin said he just couldn't get the data. Then Senator 
Heller made a similar request. It seems Mr. Mnuchin answered 
sufficiently to satisfy Senator Heller, whose State had a large number 
of OneWest foreclosures. So in my mind, that raises a question about 
why a Republican Senator could get his inquiry answered but a pair of 
Democrats could not.
  Getting other basic facts from Mr. Mnuchin was pretty much like a 
painful time at the dentist, pulling teeth. Here is an example. The 
Finance Committee requested nominees ``list all positions held as an 
officer, director, trustee, partner, proprietor, agent, representative, 
or consultant of any corporation, company, firm, partnership, other 
business enterprise, or educational or other institution.''
  When Mr. Mnuchin filed his paperwork with the committee, he signed 
them, attesting that the document was true, accurate, and complete. 
However, it became apparent to committee staff that key information was 
missing. In particular, SEC filings indicated that Mr. Mnuchin was 
director of Dune Capital International, an entity located in the Cayman 
Islands. It was nowhere to be found in Mr. Mnuchin's paperwork. He also 
failed to disclose his role as chairman and CEO of the OneWest 
Foundation, an entity that is alleged to have made generous donations 
to groups that publicly endorsed OneWest's controversial purchase by 
CIT Group. He even failed to report that he had been chairman of IMB 
HoldCo, the holding company that he used to purchase IndyMac, the bank 
that he turned into OneWest. All told, after questions were raised by 
the Finance Committee's staff, Mr. Mnuchin disclosed that he held 
positions in an additional 14 entities that were not listed on his 
initial paperwork.
  Here is an example of Mr. Mnuchin's failure to fully disclose his 
various investments. The Finance Committee requests that all nominees 
list ``the identity and value of all assets held, directly or 
indirectly, with a value in excess of $1,000.'' That is pretty 
straightforward. ``The identity and value of all assets held, directly 
or indirectly, with a value in excess of $1,000'' was to be disclosed. 
Mr. Mnuchin failed to do this as well. On his initial paperwork, 
committee staff noted that Mr. Mnuchin listed membership in a vacation 
resort in Mexico, but he didn't disclose any related property. That was 
only the first case of missing Mnuchin real estate. After questioning 
by committee staff, Mr. Mnuchin disclosed still more missing Mnuchin 
real estate--an additional $95 million in real estate holdings that had 
not been listed on his initial paperwork. The fact is, the committee 
had to take the time and ask the questions to track down these 
multimillion dollar properties, Mr. Mnuchin's unreported businesses, 
and his undisclosed business relationships.
  Again, I am convinced that none of what I have described, these 
undisclosed assets--these substantial and undisclosed assets--would 
ever have been brought to light if it wasn't for the work of the 
committee's minority staff investigators. Yet despite these efforts, 
Mr. Mnuchin still has never produced the information requested by two 
members of the Finance Committee, Senators Casey and Brown, concerning 
the OneWest foreclosures.
  My view is that this is another nominee who has the ethics alarm bell 
sounding. He has already misled the public. He appears to be concealing 
information requested by Members of this body, and his claim to fame is 
the cold and staggering efficiency with which his bank booted predatory 
lending victims out of their home. I just don't think this is the type 
of person who should lead the Treasury Department.
  Because we will have further discussion on this, I simply close 
speaking about the kind of person I want to see head the Treasury 
Department. I note that I have supported a number of Republicans for 
this particular position in my time on the Finance Committee. I want 
the kind of person who is going to give everybody in America the 
opportunity to get ahead. We are going to have more discussion about 
taxes and particularly important in this role will be the Treasury 
Secretary's view of taxes.
  We have a Tax Code that is really a tale of two systems. If you are a 
cop or a nurse in West Virginia or in Oregon, your taxes are 
compulsory. Once or twice a month your taxes are just lifted out of 
your paycheck because you are a working person. That is the way it 
works in West Virginia. That is the way it works in Oregon.
  But if you have a battery of financial experts, it doesn't work that 
way. You can use that battery of financial experts to pay what you 
want, when you want to, and, maybe, not much at all. For this position 
I want somebody who feels passionately about giving everybody in 
America the opportunity to get ahead, who really understands what a 
priority it is to work to bring economic recovery to those communities 
dimmed by hardship and suffering folks. I know there are a number of 
people like that in the State of the Acting President pro tempore of 
the Senate, and there sure are a lot of them in my home State of 
Oregon. A lot of those rural communities just feel like they have been 
hit by a wrecking ball. That is the kind of Treasury Secretary I want--
a Treasury Secretary who gives everybody in America the opportunity to 
get ahead.
  Thus far, I just don't see Mr. Mnuchin fitting that mold. We will go 
on to talk about other issues next week, particularly, his view with 
respect to taxes. We will have further discussion on it next week.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this nomination.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SULLIVAN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 

                       Tribute to AlexAnna Salmon

  Mr. SULLIVAN. Madam President, these past few weeks, I have had the

[[Page S1077]]

opportunity to come to the floor to recognize truly exceptional 
Alaskans--those who dedicate their time, energy, and talent to 
strengthening our communities and making Alaska a truly extraordinary 
place to call home.
  My colleagues here, those in the Gallery, those watching on TV, might 
know Alaska for its natural wonders. We certainly have those in spades. 
We want you all to come visit. It will be a life-changing experience, I 
  For those of us who live there, community is everything. Living in 
one of the most magnificent places on Earth also has challenges. We 
depend on each other, our traditional knowledge, our ingenuity, our 
determination to overcome those challenges, particularly as a 
  Today I would like to transport you to the village of Igiugig in 
Southwest Alaska, and introduce you to an amazing young woman who is 
truly making a difference in her community. AlexAnna Salmon is our 
Alaskan of the Week.
  First, a little bit about where she lives. Rich in Alaskan Native 
traditions, her village is home to around 70 residents year-round, 
growing to more than 200 in the summer months. The name Igiugig comes 
from a Yupik word meaning ``like a throat that swallows water.'' It is 
referring to the location of the village which sits where the Kvichak 
River meets Lake Iliamna.
  Western Alaska has been home to thriving, sustainable communities for 
a millennia, but rising energy costs and overregulations have put the 
future of these communities at risk. In fact, many of these 
communities, particularly in rural Alaska, face some of the highest 
energy costs in the country, which is a bit of a cruel irony given how 
resource-rich Alaska is, but in typical Alaska fashion, this village, 
facing these energy challenges, comes together as a community to 
embrace new technologies and new ways to address these challenges.
  At the forefront of this rural revolution and sustainable community 
is our Alaskan of the Week, AlexAnna Salmon. Raised in Igiugig, 
AlexAnna has emerged as a leader in her community, now serving as the 
village council president.
  She has had that position since just after graduating cum laude from 
Dartmouth College in 2008, with a double major in Native American 
studies and anthropology.
  While at Dartmouth, she won a prestigious writing award for her 
senior thesis on life in her village. When she was done with college, 
she, along with her sister, came back to her community, to her village, 
to raise her family. In her words, she stated, ``I felt that I had the 
greatest childhood here in Igiugig. This is where kids need to be 
raised.'' She wants their childhood experiences to be as great or even 
better and meaningful as hers.
  To keep her community thriving, particularly with these energy 
challenges--and to make it even a better place for the next 
generation--she encourages healthy lifestyles, helps improve local 
infrastructure, and works tirelessly toward ensuring that people in her 
village have a sustainable source of food and energy.
  AlexAnna has overseen the establishment of community farms and 
gardens, wind turbines, solar collectors, centralized recycling, 
building upgrades, weatherization, and most recently helped launch a 
very exciting hydro project.
  For her dedication to the well-being of her community and to all 
Alaskans and for tackling unique challenges with both creativity and 
determination, for making the impossible, in some of the most extreme 
parts of our country in terms of rural living, seem possible, AlexAnna 
Salmon is the Alaskan of the Week.
  Congratulations, AlexAnna, and thank you. Your dedication epitomizes 
what it means to be an Alaskan, honoring the traditions of our past and 
seizing the opportunities here and now to provide for a bright future.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. WARREN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  Ms. WARREN. Madam President, out on the campaign trail, Donald Trump 
talked a big game about Wall Street. He said: ``Wall Street has caused 
tremendous problems for us.'' He claimed that he was not going to let 
Wall Street get away with murder.
  His closing ad expressed outrage at Wall Street ``controlling the 
levers of power in Washington.'' It pictured Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd 
Blankfein as part of ``the global special interests that were rigging 
the economy against working families.''
  Then Trump won, and within days he hired and nominated enough Goldman 
Sachs alumni to open a new bank branch in the White House. His senior 
strategist, Steve Bannon, spent half a decade at Goldman Sachs as an 
investment banker. His National Economic Council Director, Gary Cohn, 
came directly from Goldman Sachs, where he spent 25 years and rose to 
be second in command at the bank. His Senior Counsel for Economic 
Initiatives, Dina Powell, came directly from Goldman Sachs, where she 
has been a partner since 2010.
  Finally, Donald Trump nominated Steve Mnuchin to serve as his 
Secretary of Treasury. Mr. Mnuchin spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, 
much of it in the distribution that created and peddled the kinds of 
mortgage-backed securities that would later blow up the financial 
  Personnel is policy. The selection of all of these Goldman Sachs 
executives to serve as core members of Trump's economic team shows that 
the President has no interest in reducing Wall Street's influence in 
Washington and leveling the playing field for working families. 
Instead, it will be the same Republican playbook--gutting the rules for 
big banks, firing the cops on Wall Street--the same playbook that paved 
the way for the 2008 financial crisis.
  But even among the group of Goldman Sachs bankers surrounding the 
President, the selection of Mr. Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary stands 
out. The Treasury Secretary leads the Council responsible for making 
sure Wall Street doesn't blow up our economy again.
  The Council cannot do anything without the support of the Treasury 
Secretary. No other official has greater responsibility to stand up to 
Wall Street if they threaten the economy again. Yet there is nothing--
nothing--in Mr. Mnuchin's record to suggest that he could stand up to 
Wall Street. In fact, there is nothing in Mr. Mnuchin's record to 
suggest that he would even want to stand up to Wall Street, that he has 
even thought of standing up to Wall Street.
  Mr. Mnuchin is the ultimate Wall Street insider. From the moment he 
graduated from college until today, he has worked at a big bank or a 
hedge fund. If Wall Street threatens to blow up the economy again, does 
anyone seriously expect Mr. Mnuchin to get tough with his old buddies 
and tell them to knock it off?
  In fact, you can expect just the opposite. Mr. Mnuchin pretty much 
laps the field when it comes to personal experience in tilting the 
playing field in favor of financial interests and against working 
families. In late 2008, as the financial crisis was sweeping across the 
country, Mr. Mnuchin lead a team of millionaires to purchase IndyMac 
Bank out of Federal receivership. He rebranded the bank as OneWest and 
put himself in charge as CEO. Then, Mr. Mnuchin and OneWest acted 
swiftly and decisively to boot more than 60,000 families out of their 
homes across the country.
  Look, I get it. Foreclosures happen in an economic crisis. But 
OneWest, Mr. Mnuchin's bank, was different. It quickly gained a 
reputation as a foreclosure machine, both because it was so aggressive 
at foreclosing on families and because the bank hardly did anything 
  Countless homeowners who were trapped by a OneWest mortgage had their 
lives turned upside down. Some ended up homeless.

  How sleazy and out of line was Mr. Mnuchin's bank? Well, the bank 
paid millions of dollars to settle lawsuits for predatory foreclosure 
practices. They were so sleazy that they even got hit with almost $3 
million in fines for violating the rights of dozens of Active-Duty 

[[Page S1078]]

  You really have to ask: What kind of a man does something like that--
cheats our soldiers while they are on Active Duty? The model Mr. 
Mnuchin developed for OneWest was terrible for homeowners, but it was 
fabulous for him. Six years after buying the bank, he sold it and 
reportedly pocketed as much as $200 million in personal profit--$200 
million for 6 years of throwing families out of their homes--wow, only 
on Wall Street.
  Mr. Mnuchin's leadership of OneWest is critical to evaluating his 
fitness to serve as Treasury Secretary. That is why I joined 24 other 
Democratic Senators in asking Chairman Hatch of the Senate Finance 
Committee to include some of Mr. Mnuchin's foreclosure victims as 
witnesses at Mr. Mnuchin's hearing.
  The chairman refused. So Democrats invited some of those homeowners 
to come to the Senate anyway to share their stories at a forum. We 
invited every Senator--Democrat or Republican--to attend the forum. We 
also invited Mr. Mnuchin to attend. Not one single Republican showed 
up--not one. Mr. Mnuchin refused to attend. But Senate Democrats turned 
out to listen. The stories that we heard will break your heart.
  We heard from Colleen Ison-Hodroff, from Minneapolis, MN. Colleen is 
84 years old. She and her husband Monroe got a reverse mortgage on 
their fully paid-off home from Financial Freedom, which is a OneWest 
subsidiary. At the time, the broker assured them that Colleen could 
keep living in her home even if her husband passed away before she did. 
But just days--just days--after Monroe's funeral, Mr. Mnuchin's bank 
told her she needed to pay off the entire loan or face foreclosure. She 
has been fighting them off for 2 years now, but the threat hangs over 
her and her family.
  Sylvia Oliver from Scotch Plains, NJ, also told us her story. She had 
been trying for years to get a loan modification from OneWest. For 
years, the bank refused to work with her in good faith. Sylvia choked 
up as she described how she felt when her young daughter told her: Mom, 
I love our home. She had to smile and look her daughter in the eye, not 
knowing whether they could keep that home for more than even a few more 
  We heard from Cristina Clifford, from Carlsbad, CA. Cristina is a 
real go-getter, a self-employed small business owner who saved up 
enough money to buy her first home soon after she turned 20. When the 
financial crisis hit, the income from her business dried up, and she 
reached out to Mr. Mnuchin's bank for a modification. But when she sent 
in her modification paperwork, along with the check for her first new 
payment, she sent them in a single envelope, and Mr. Mnuchin's bank 
claimed they had never received the paperwork even though they cashed 
the check that was in the same envelope.
  Ultimately, Mr. Mnuchin's bank foreclosed on Cristina, just days 
after an employee personally had assured her that she could still work 
out a modification to keep her home. But she lost her home.
  We also heard from Heather McCreary, a mother of twin boys from 
Sparks, NV. Like a lot of families, Heather and her husband Jack were 
hit hard in the financial crisis. She lost her job as a home health 
aide, and Jack, who worked construction, got fewer hours and lower 
wages. Heather and Jack applied to OneWest for a modification. They did 
everything they were told. But it did not matter to Mr. Mnuchin and his 
friends at OneWest.
  The bank strung them along for years and then, in the blink of an 
eye, foreclosed so abruptly that it literally put Heather, her husband 
Jack, and their twin boys out on the street.
  All four of these women begged the Senate to reject Mr. Mnuchin's 
nomination. Heather said:

       Putting Steve Mnuchin in charge of the country's financial 
     system is an insult to families like mine, families who 
     worked hard and did everything they could to get by after the 
     economy collapsed. Take it from my experience, I know he will 
     not be looking out for working people. Instead, he will use 
     his position to make the economy work better for people like 

  No track record of independence from Wall Street, a history of 
profiting off the financial crisis by squeezing working families to the 
breaking point--each one of those should be disqualifying to serve as 
Treasury Secretary. That should be the end of his nomination. We should 
be done with this. But there is more.
  During Mr. Mnuchin's nomination process, he flat-out lied to the 
Senate. Senator Casey from Pennsylvania asked Mr. Mnuchin a 
straightforward factual question about foreclosure abuses at OneWest. 
Mr. Mnuchin claimed they did not happen. That is not even a good lie. 
Within days, reporters found court documents contradicting Mr. 
Mnuchin's claim. You know, something like that should not be a partisan 
issue. A person who lies to Congress should not be the country's top 
economic official--period, done.
  But when Senate Democrats demanded that Mr. Mnuchin come before the 
Finance Committee again to account for his statement, Republicans on 
the committee unilaterally changed the rules and rammed Mr. Mnuchin's 
nomination through without a single Democrat present.
  Do Senate Republicans care about Mr. Mnuchin's lies?
  The American people should.
  If Mr. Mnuchin is willing to lie about something that is so easily 
disproved by public court documents, what else is he willing to lie 
about? How can Congress or the American people believe him ever again?
  We know Mr. Mnuchin has the full support of Wall Street. The big bank 
lobbyists, Mr. Mnuchin's hedge fund pals, man, they want to see him 
confirmed. They are lobbying hard. They know he will help out his old 
buddies and give them all the financial rule rollbacks and sweetheart 
deals that they want. What we know is that is usually enough to carry 
the day around here.
  But me? I am going with Colleen and Heather and Sylvia and Cristina. 
I heard what Mr. Mnuchin and his bank did to them and to thousands more 
like them in Massachusetts and all across the country. The U.S. Senate 
should not reward that kind of sleazy, cruel, and sometimes illegal 
conduct by making him the Secretary of Treasury.
  We cannot say to the millions of people who lost their homes, who 
lost their jobs, who lost their savings during the financial crisis, 
that a man like Mr. Mnuchin will be entrusted with the keys to our 
Treasury. We cannot say to the American people that someone who lied to 
Congress--who lied and didn't even have to come back and explain his 
lie--can become a senior Cabinet official.
  A lot of people believed Donald Trump when he said he would be tough 
on Wall Street. A lot of people voted for him because of that promise. 
By hiring half of Goldman Sachs to run the economy, Donald Trump has 
made clear he has no intention of keeping his promise. And now, with 
the vote on Mr. Mnuchin, the American public will have the chance to 
see whether Senate Republicans are serious about keeping Wall Street in 
line too.
  Don't hold your breath, America. I will be voting no on Mr. Mnuchin's 
nomination, and I urge all of my colleagues to do the same.
  I want to read some of the stories that we have about Mr. Mnuchin's 
time at OneWest. You know, you don't have to take this just from me. I 
may be the one speaking here today, but it is the voices of Colleen and 
Heather and Sylvia and Cristina and thousands of others whose lives 
were ruined by Steve Mnuchin's aggressive foreclosure tactics that 
really deserve to be heard.
  I have already told you about Colleen Ison-Hodroff, the 84-year-old 
woman who is getting cheated out of her home, her home that she lived 
in for over 50 years and that was fully paid off. She is getting 
cheated out of that home by Steve Mnuchin's bank.
  Now what I would like to do is to share her full story in her own 
words. This is what she had to say:

       My name is Colleen Ison-Hodroff. I am 84 years old. I am a 
     resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota. My husband Monroe Hodroff 
     and I purchased our home located at 2753 Ewing Avenue in 1963 
     as a home for our family of six children. They called us the 
     Brady Bunch of Ewing Avenue. Our house was the heart and soul 
     of our family. Monroe and I were married for 55 years, and we 
     successfully ran four small grocery stores. I would like to 
     thank you all very much for allowing me to share my story.
       I am here today because Financial Freedom, my reverse 
     mortgage servicer, is trying to foreclose on my home. This is 
     despite the fact that when my husband Monroe and I took out 
     this loan, they told us that I could

[[Page S1079]]

     remain in the home if Monroe should die before me.
       In July of 2006, my husband and I decided to take out a 
     reverse mortgage loan with Financial Freedom. It was a very 
     complicated process. Someone came to our house and I was 
     asked to sign a number of papers. Usually, Monroe handled the 
     financial matters for our household. We were told that I 
     could live in the house if Monroe passed away. It was never 
     Monroe's or my intention that the survivor of the two of us 
     would have to sell the house or leave if one of us died. We 
     would not have signed for the loan if we thought that was the 
       My husband Monroe passed on September 12, 2014. A mere 10 
     days later, despite what we had been told, Financial Freedom 
     contacted me and told me that I needed to pay off the loan 
     immediately. This was news to me. I was in no financial 
     position to do so. Since then, Financial Freedom has been 
     trying to foreclose on me. I think this is an injustice in 
     that an elderly woman was deceived, and now Financial Freedom 
     is trying to take my home. Why would Financial Freedom do 
     this to me? I relied on what I was told, and now they are 
     trying to kick me out of our family home.
       How was I supposed to know if what I was told wasn't true? 
     What am I supposed to do now?
       My understanding is that in such circumstances, Financial 
     Freedom blames HUD for it kicking out Non-Borrowing Spouses. 
     Experts who have reviewed my paperwork have told me that this 
     isn't even a HUD-backed loan, so Financial Freedom has no one 
     to blame but themselves. It seems Financial Freedom should be 
     working to keep people like me in their homes, and not 
     fighting to kick us out.
       I hear that Steve Mnuchin was a leader of the bank that is 
     doing this to me and other seniors. I do not think a man like 
     that should be the Treasury Secretary and in charge of our 
     economy. We can't let that happen. Thank you again for 
     allowing me to tell my story on behalf of those who have had 
     bad dealings with Financial Freedom and OneWest.

  Thank you, Colleen. I appreciate you telling your story.
  I also talked about Heather McCreary, her husband, and her twin boys, 
and how her family was left out on the street because of the greed of 
Steve Mnuchin and OneWest Bank.
  Heather courageously shared her story with us, and here is what she 

       My name is Heather McCreary. My husband Jack, my two kids 
     Jaden and Clara, and I are from Sparks, Nevada. This is my 
     story about how my family's American Dream turned into a 
     nightmare. I'm sharing my story with the hope of explaining 
     why we cannot let Steve Mnuchin become Secretary of the 
     Treasury. Putting Steve Mnuchin in charge of the Treasury 
     Department would mean that a man who profited off the 
     struggles of families like mine would be one of the most 
     powerful people in the U.S. economy.
       For a while, it was looking like our shot at the American 
     Dream was going pretty well. In 2006, Jack and I bought our 
     dream home in Sparks--just a mile away from my parents, and a 
     short walk to Jaden and Clara's school and to parks the kids 
     could play in. I was working as a home health care worker and 
     Jack was working in construction, and together we were 
     managing just fine.
       Then, in 2008, when the economy started to get worse, I was 
     laid off. The following year in 2009, Jack was laid off too. 
     Though Jack was able to find another job pretty fast, he had 
     to take a big pay cut--from about $25 an hour to $8.50 an 
     hour. Between the cut in Jack's pay and the loss in income I 
     experienced when going on unemployment insurance benefits 
     after I got laid off, we were pinched and we were drowning 
     financially. However, we were determined to keep our dream 
     home, so Jack and I were tenacious about doing whatever we 
     could to get help. We sought help from the Hope Now Alliance, 
     which is an alliance of HUD-approved counselors who provide 
     free foreclosure help, and from the Washoe County Senior Law 
     Project. We worked side-by-side with both organizations to do 
     everything required of us by our mortgage servicer IndyMac, 
     which later became OneWest.
       When we first asked for help, OneWest gave us a short 
     forbearance and allowed us to make a smaller payment for 
     several months with the goal of a reduction in our monthly 
     mortgage payments through the Home Affordable Modification 
     Program (or HAMP). By applying for the HAMP program, we 
     thought we were back on the road to keeping our home. We 
     complied 100 percent with OneWest's requirements for HAMP--we 
     were incredibly nervous about being able to keep our house, 
     so we were extremely careful to make sure we did everything 
     we could to keep the process going forward. Our application 
     for HAMP was processed and we were approved for a 
     modification. I sent in the signed paperwork and the first 
     payment under the modified payment amount.
       But then the process started to fall apart.
       After a whole 30 days, OneWest returned our personal check 
     and told us that only certified checks would be accepted, so 
     they were now voiding the modification offer. We had followed 
     the instructions to the letter on OneWest's paperwork, 
     crossing our ``T''s and dotting our ``I''s. But in the end, 
     this didn't matter--and OneWest's rejection of our HAMP 
     application put us on the road to foreclosure.
       We applied two more times for loan modifications over the 
     next six months because we were given assurances by people at 
     OneWest that they would approve our application. We again 
     complied with every request OneWest made of us, taking care 
     to send in extra documents whenever OneWest requested them. 
     But as far as I can tell, OneWest never attempted to process 
     the loan modification.
       The foreclosure went through and we lost our home on 
     September 10, 2010. The foreclosure left us without a home, 
     and finding a new rental was extremely difficult because of 
     our credit. Juggling the demands of raising our twins and 
     this was so hard--the foreclosure even meant that our kids 
     had to miss school. Eventually we did find a new place, but 
     we had to pay an outrageous rent--even though it was not a 
     good home for us at all. It's hard to explain the shame, 
     embarrassment, and grief that Jack and I felt.
       I've cried a river of tears over this. I really didn't 
     think we were asking too much: we wanted to hang onto our 
     home for the sake of our kids, and we did everything we could 
     to stay in our home. And while I will probably never know 
     exactly what OneWest did, the outcome of my story proves that 
     Steve Mnuchin's company had no interest in helping us. They 
     wanted to foreclose because they were focused on their 
     profits. Putting Steve Mnuchin in charge of the country's 
     financial system is an insult to families like mine: families 
     who worked hard and did everything they could to get by after 
     the economy collapsed.
       Take it from my experience--I know he will not be looking 
     out for working people. Instead, he will use his position to 
     make the economy work better for people like himself. On 
     behalf of my family and others like it, I ask you to please 
     reject Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary.

  Thank you, Heather, for sending in your letter. I appreciate it.
  And remember Sylvia? She and her family are facing foreclosure later 
this month, yet she still came all the way to Washington to stop the 
Senate from putting Steve Mnuchin in a position to harm millions of 
  Sylvia told us her story, and this is what she said:

       My name is Sylvia Oliver, I am a homeowner from Scotch 
     Plains, New Jersey. I got my mortgage from IndyMac in May 
     2008, and about a month later, IndyMac failed. I want to 
     share my story because it is more than a house--it is a home 
     for me, my husband, and my three children and my 
       In early 2009, my husband and I were facing financial 
     difficulties. Because of the economy being in bad shape, my 
     husband was between jobs. We reached out to OneWest to 
     request a modification. We were told that we had to make 
     three payments in order to move forward on a permanent 
     modification, and so we made those three payments. After 
     making those payments, I reached back out to OneWest to find 
     out what the next steps were. But I couldn't get a straight 
     answer from them, so we continued making partial payments, 
     even though it was a challenge for us financially.
       In February 2010, I submitted a modification application to 
     OneWest Bank. About six weeks later I received a Notice of 
     Intent to Foreclose. However, the person I had been talking 
     to at OneWest, a man named Albert, told me not to worry, and 
     encouraged me to continue submitting updated documents to the 
     bank. So, for the next year, I would submit new documents to 
     the bank, through FedEx and through faxes. And, every week, I 
     would call Albert and ask if he had an update on my 
     situation, and every week I was told there was no answer and 
     to call back the next week.
       After a year of my weekly phone calls, I finally a received 
     a denial letter from OneWest in February 2011, when they said 
     they couldn't modify my loan.
       Albert at OneWest told me I could reapply for a 
     modification, which I did, because I really wanted to keep 
     our home.
       For the next several months, the cycle would repeat with 
     the bank telling me to reapply for a modification, me 
     believing that they were sincere, and then a few months later 
     being told that we had been declined again. This was 
     surprising, because during this time we were back on our feet 
     and our incomes were both increasing, which meant we were in 
     a better position to pay for our mortgage.
       At the end of 2015, I received another notice of 
     foreclosure from the bank. At this point it became clear to 
     me that OneWest never had any intention of modifying the loan 
     in such a way that they would still get paid back and we 
     would be able to keep our home.
       In March of 2016, I hired a lawyer because I thought they 
     might have more success in working with the bank than I did. 
     At my attorney's advice, I filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy as 
     part of another modification application. That process went 
     on for about five or six months, with the same cycle of me 
     sending paperwork over and over to the bank, and the same 
     answer again.
       Last year I was facing foreclosure three weeks before 
     Christmas. However, that was then postponed until this month. 
     In fact, I was supposed to be foreclosed on by OneWest 

  That is the day she came to Washington--

[[Page S1080]]


     however, after Senator Menendez's office called OneWest, I 
     learned that my sale had been postponed at least until next 
       Earlier this month, I sought help from a HUD approved 
     housing counselor. She worked with me and my husband to 
     document our income and to submit a modification application. 
     After analyzing the situation, she was surprised to hear that 
     we had not qualified for a modification earlier, especially 
     since my husband and I both had good incomes.
       As of right now, I am still facing foreclosure next month--

  That would be February--

     and I know in my heart this is because OneWest's only intent 
     was to foreclose on my home.
       This bank has had ample opportunities to modify my loan. In 
     fact, they told me that they own the loan, so I know they 
     can't blame the situation on an investor not allowing them to 
     modify my loan. Nobody should have to go through the 
     experience that I have gone through during the past several 
     years with OneWest Bank. It has been very painful and 
     stressful not knowing if my kids and my family were going to 
     have a home to live in or if it is going to be foreclosed on.
       I would ask you to remember my experience when you consider 
     whether Mr. Mnuchin is qualified to lead the Department of 
     the Treasury. As the CEO and Chair of OneWest Bank, Mr. 
     Mnuchin had the opportunity to help families like mine with 
     responsible loan modification, and he didn't. I don't think 
     this is a track record that anybody should be proud of.

  Thank you, Sylvia for telling your story.
  Then there is Cristina, a small business owner who owned her own home 
at the age of 20. I already told you about how Steve Mnuchin's bank ran 
her in circles until they could foreclose on her house. But now I want 
you to hear the full story from Cristina. Here is what she said:

       Good afternoon. My name is Cristina Clifford. I'm hoping 
     that by sharing my story today I can explain why I believe 
     confirming Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary would be a 
     serious mistake for our country. I experienced firsthand what 
     it was like to be subject to OneWest's greed, and I can tell 
     you that the person who ran OneWest Bank should not be the 
     person responsible for oversight of the U.S. economy.
       In 2001, when I was 20, I bought my first home--a great 
     condo in Whittier, California, just outside Los Angeles. I 
     was young, but I've always been a motivated self-starter. I'm 
     also a self-employed, small business owner--my primary source 
     of income. Things were going just fine, and I was never, ever 
     late on my mortgage payments.
       However, that changed in 2008--like it did for so many of 
     us--when the economy took a turn for the worse. My business 
     struggled, and I started relying on credit cards to stay 
     afloat. In March of 2009, I was unable to make my mortgage 
     payment for the first time in eight years as a homeowner. I 
     called OneWest directly to see what options I would have for 
     keeping my home. They told me flat out that because I had 
     never been delinquent, they had no way of helping me.
       In order to get help, they said, I would have to fall 
     behind on my payments. Of course this was misleading--and, 
     I've since found out, a common tactic that mortgage lenders 
     use to push people into default.
       From there, I began the long, long process of loan 
     modification through the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (or 
     HAMP). I sent in numerous documents to OneWest, and in May, I 
     was offered my first loan modification. I was thrilled--the 
     new payments would fit perfectly in my budget, so I signed 
     the loan modification papers and sent them via FedEx along 
     with a check for my first payment under the new, modified 
     payment amount. In July, I expected OneWest to send me a 
     statement with the new lower payment amount. Instead, I 
     received a letter saying that they had not received my loan 
     modification paperwork, so the modification terms were no 
     longer valid. I called them and OneWest confirmed that they 
     had not received my returned loan modification agreement.
       I knew right away this wasn't right, because they had 
     cashed the check for the first modified payment in the same 
     FedEx envelope. That they managed to cash the check but 
     completely neglect the loan modification agreement--again, in 
     the same envelope--is absolutely outrageous.
       I had no choice but to apply again, this time submitting 
     even more documents; I was told to submit and resubmit many 
     duplicative documents in many different formats. Despite how 
     difficult OneWest made the process, I did everything they 
     asked because I was determined to keep my home. On August 3, 
     2009, I received a notice of default from OneWest but 
     proceeded with my second attempt at modifying my loan. I 
     received my second loan modification offer later that month. 
     The terms were almost identical to the offer they made me in 
     May, so I quickly signed the offer and mailed it in with 
     another check.
       In October, I got a letter exactly like the one I received 
     earlier saying that they had not received the loan 
     modification paperwork and that the modification offer was no 
     longer valid. Yet as they did the first time, they cashed the 
     check I sent with the signed offer.
       At this point, I felt I had no choice but to get an 
     attorney, who worked to get my foreclosure postponed while 
     the loan modification process played out. He spoke with 
     people at OneWest who told him that they would postpone the 
     sale of my condo until the loan modification process was 
       This simply wasn't true: on the evening of December 3, 
     2009, I received a knock on my door from a man that 
     introduced himself as the new owner of my property. And in 
     March of 2010, I received a final notice telling me that I 
     had five days to leave my apartment--five days to pack up the 
     ten years of my life I'd spent in my home.
       The reason I am sharing my story is because there are so 
     many other people out there like me who got left in the dust. 
     Steve Mnuchin profited from people like me, even when we did 
     everything we could to keep our homes. You might say that 
     Steve Mnuchin did not personally authorize OneWest to cheat 
     me out of my home, but his fortune rose as a direct result of 
     managing a company that routinely engaged in irresponsible 
       The Treasury Secretary will be tasked with making sure the 
     economy is working in a way that benefits all of Americans, 
     not just the top 1 percent. However, Steve Mnuchin is not 
     that person; he is just the opposite. Please make a statement 
     for people like me and oppose his confirmation as Treasury 

  Thank you, Cristina. Thank you for coming to Washington. Thank you 
for submitting your story.
  Now these are just four stories--four experiences--among the 
thousands more like them, all leading to the same simple but startling 
conclusion: Under Steve Mnuchin's leadership, OneWest Bank took 
advantage of homeowners all across the country in the immediate 
aftermath of the financial crisis. And why did they do it? They did it 
to make a quick buck.
  But don't just take my word for it. Paulina Gonzalez, the Executive 
Director for the California Reinvestment Coalition also came to 
Washington to speak to us. Paulina and her organization have been 
closely tracking OneWest's destructive practices for years. Here is 
what Paulina told us:

       My name is Paulina Gonzalez. I am the Executive Director of 
     the California Reinvestment Coalition. Over the past 30 
     years, CRC has grown to the largest state reinvestment 
     coalition in the country with a membership of 300 
     organizations that serve low-income communities and community 
     of color.
       It is critically important that our elected representatives 
     and the American public hear directly from people who have 
     lost their homes due to the egregious practices by OneWest 
     under Mr. Mnuchin's leadership, before deciding on his 
     nomination to the high and important office of Treasury 
       I'm going to share some data and information with you in 
     the next few minutes, but know that the wreckage from OneWest 
     is not really about numbers, data, and legal briefs. It's 
     about the tens of thousands of Americans who have suffered 
     devastating personal and financial losses as a result of 
     OneWest's abusive foreclosure practices.
       Whether it's the story of the Minnesota woman who sought a 
     loan modification from OneWest and returned to her home in a 
     blizzard only to find that her locks were changed. Or the 90 
     year old woman who was nearly kicked out of her home for 
     mistakenly paying 27 cents less than [the amount] OneWest 
     said she owed. Or the 80 year old former Christian missionary 
     who was notified at his home that Financial Freedom was 
     foreclosing on him because the bank said it had no record of 
     him living there. The issue is the same: instead of helping 
     people stay in their homes, Mr. Mnuchin devised a foreclosure 
     machine that used every trick in the book to profit from 
     their suffering.
       And foreclose he did. CRC and Urban Strategies Council 
     analyzed data showing that OneWest foreclosed on over 36,000 
     families in California and 24,000 families nationally. All of 
     these foreclosures occurred after Mr. Mnuchin purchased 
     IndyMac Bank. In addition, we suspect that OneWest's reverse 
     mortgage subsidiary, Financial Freedom, has foreclosed on 
     more seniors, widows, and widowers, and heirs than any other 
     company participating in the federal Home Equity Conversion 
     Mortgage program. A Freedom of Information Act request that 
     we filed with HUD revealed that Financial Freedom had 
     foreclosed on over 16,000 seniors, widows, widowers, and 
     their families, or 39 % of all Home Equity Conversion 
     Mortgage foreclosures, roughly twice the rate one would 
     expect given the bank's market share.

  I just want to say that one more time. They foreclosed on seniors, on 
widows, on widowers, and on families at about twice the rate of anyone 
else doing the same business.

       Mr. Mnuchin may defend his record by saying he inherited 
     these bad loans, that the foreclosures were inevitable, and 
     that his bank followed the law in dealing with his customers. 
     We strongly disagree, and it appears we are not alone. In a 
     CNN story that aired on January 3rd about Mr. Mnuchin and

[[Page S1081]]

     Financial Freedom, a HUD spokesperson was quoted as saying, 
     ``while HUD doesn't dispute that it has strict rules for 
     government backed reverse mortgages, OneWest had the ability 
     to give survivors more time but chose not to.''
       Mr. Mnuchin's spokespeople have also praised his 
     modification record. But, we are not sure there is much to 
     praise. 2013 data from the Treasury Department shows that 
     OneWest had among the highest denial rates for the Home 
     Affordable Modification Program, [HAMP,] the federal 
     government's main foreclosure prevention effort. Under Mr. 
     Mnuchin, OneWest denied three-quarters of the thousands of 
     loan modification requests that came in from families 
     trying to save their homes. OneWest was much more likely 
     to deny loan modifications under this program than peers, 
     such as Bank of America or Wells Fargo.
       A January 2013 memo from the California Attorney General's 
     office revealed a staff investigation finding of ``widespread 
     misconduct'' at the bank, including backdating thousands of 
     foreclosure documents, improper foreclosure auction credit 
     bidding which meant the bank could claim tax exemptions it 
     wasn't entitled to, proceeding with foreclosures without the 
     proper authority to do so, and speeding up foreclosure 
     timelines. All of these practices deprived working families 
     in California a fair chance to stay in their homes.
       The Treasury Secretary leads our economy. The Secretary 
     helps oversee our banking system and will have much to say 
     about important policies relating to banking, housing, and 
     economic development that will impact all Americans. The 
     country needs a Treasury Secretary who will consider the 
     needs of all Americans, including working class Americans. 
     Mr. Mnuchin's tenure at OneWest Bank shows him to work in his 
     interest and in the corporate interest, at the great expense 
     and harm to everyday Americans.

  Thank you, Paulina. I appreciate your sending in this information, 
and I agree.
  Unfortunately, Mr. Mnuchin's history of oppressive foreclosure 
practices isn't the only thing that disqualifies him from serving as 
Secretary of the Treasury. I already told you that Mr. Mnuchin flat-out 
lied to the Senate when he told my colleague, Senator Casey, that his 
bank didn't engage in certain foreclosure practices. I wish to share an 
article from the Columbus Dispatch uncovering the exact practices Mr. 
Mnuchin told the Senate that his bank never engaged in. The article 
says: ``President Donald Trump's nominee for U.S. treasury secretary 
was untruthful with the Senate during the confirmation process, 
documents uncovered by The Dispatch show.''

       Steve Mnuchin, former chairman and chief executive officer 
     of OneWest Bank, known for its aggressive foreclosure 
     practices, flatly denied in testimony before the Senate 
     Finance Committee that OneWest used ``robo-signing'' on 
     mortgage documents.
       But records show the bank utilized the questionable 
     practice in Ohio.
       ``This guy is just lying. There's no other way to say it,'' 
     said Bill Faith, executive director of the Coalition on 
     Homelessness and Housing in Ohio.
       The revelation comes with the committee's vote on whether 
     to confirm Mnuchin's nomination, currently scheduled for 
     Monday night.
       ``Robo-signing'' is the informal term for when a mortgage 
     company employee signs hundreds of foreclosures, swearing 
     they have scrutinized the document as required by law when in 
     fact they have not.
       ``OneWest Bank did not `robo-sign' documents,'' Mnuchin 
     wrote in response to questions from individual Senators, 
     ``and as the only bank to successfully complete the 
     Independent Foreclosure Review required by federal banking 
     regulators to investigate allegations of `robo-signing,' I am 
     proud of our institution's extremely low error rate.''

  I just want to read that one more time. Steve Mnuchin said: ``OneWest 
Bank did not `robo-sign' documents.'' And he is proud of what he did.
  But a Dispatch analysis of nearly four dozen foreclosure cases filed 
by OneWest in Franklin County in 2010 alone shows that the company 
frequently used robo-signers. The vast majority of the Columbus-area 
cases were signed by 11 different people in Travis County, Texas. Those 
employees called themselves vice presidents, assistant vice presidents, 
managers and assistant secretaries. In three local cases, a judge 
dismissed OneWest foreclosure proceedings specifically based on 
inaccurate robo-signings.

       The Dispatch found more than 1,900 OneWest foreclosures in 
     the state's six largest counties from 2009 to 2015.
       Carla Duncan, a social worker from Cleveland Heights, was 
     snared by OneWest's robo-signing machinery.
       On her way out of town for a short trip in 2010, Duncan 
     stopped by her home to get her mail and found a note from a 
     field inspector for her mortgage company, saying that her 
     house was vacant and was going to be boarded up.
       ``It wasn't vacant, I was living there,'' Duncan said. 
     ``There were curtains on the windows. The radio was playing 
     and the dog was there.''
       What Duncan didn't know at the time was that OneWest had 
     begun foreclosure proceedings on her three-bedroom home even 
     though she was up-to-date on her payments. OneWest refused to 
     accept a loan modification approved by a previous lender that 
     had been purchased by OneWest, and it wanted to substantially 
     increase Duncan's interest rate and monthly payment and add 
     late fees. The company also put a lock box on a separate 
     rental property she owned in Cleveland.
       After hiring former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann, waging 
     a five-year court battle and filing personal bankruptcy, 
     Duncan was finally able to get the foreclosures dismissed and 
     keep her home and rental property. She said the experience 
     was devastating.
       ``It got to the point that I was afraid to open my own 
       Court records show that Duncan's mortgage was robo-signed 
     by Erica Johnson-Seck, vice president of OneWest's department 
     of bankruptcy and foreclosures. From her office in Austin, 
     Texas, Johnson-Seck robo-signed an average of 750 foreclosure 
     documents a week, according to a sworn deposition she gave in 
     a Florida case in July 2009.
       Under oath, Johnson-Seck acknowledged that she did not read 
     the documents she was signing, taking only about 30 seconds 
     to sign her name. To speed up the process, Johnson-Seck said 
     she shortened her first name in her signature to just ``E.'' 
     In the deposition that OneWest's practice was to review just 
     10 percent of the foreclosure documents for accuracy.
       Dann, who now specializes in representing clients who have 
     problems with banks and other lenders after he was forced to 
     resign as attorney general nearly 10 years ago, said 
     Mnuchin's businesses were a ``major offender'' in problem 
     mortgages. Dann said Mnuchin's firms were known for dual 
     tracking [which means](pursuing foreclosure simultaneously as 
     they allegedly worked with homeowners), fabricating documents 
     and other tactics ``that caused unbelievable devastation in 
     people's lives.''
       In 2010, federal laws were changed, enabling borrowers 
     victimized by lenders to sue them. Dann said he worries that 
     Mnuchin, as treasury secretary, would quietly work to repeal 
     reforms collectively known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street 
     Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
       That appears to be the case.
       ``It has been over six years since the passage of Dodd-
     Frank and it seems like an appropriate time to review all of 
     the regulations from Dodd-Frank to understand their impact on 
     the market, investors, small businesses and economic 
     growth,'' Mnuchin said in a written answer to the Senate.
       The Dispatch analysis showed thousands of Ohio homeowners--
     including 245 in Franklin County--found themselves in 
     OneWest's crosshairs when they defaulted on their loans, the 
     majority of them with high interest rates. Many mortgages had 
     terms that housing and financial experts view as predatory: 
     prepayment penalties, interest-only loans and no-money-down 
       Mnuchin was labeled by critics at the time as the 
     ``Foreclosure King.''

  That is it--the ``Foreclosure King.'' That is who is just hours away 
from becoming the chief financial officer of our country.
  Steve Mnuchin is a Wall Street insider who has spent his career 
looking out for himself and his billionaire buddies. He led a bank that 
forced thousands of hardworking Americans out of their homes, and he 
lied to the Senate.
  The Constitution demands that Senators advise and consent on the 
President's nominations. Well, here is my advice: Steve Mnuchin is not 
fit to be Secretary of Treasury.
  He will not look out for the millions of Americans still recovering 
from the recession, like Heather and Cristina. He certainly will not 
defend the interests of middle-class families like the McCrearys and 
the Olivers. And I know he will not stand up to Wall Street and fight 
to protect the interests of all Americans.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose Mr. Mnuchin's nomination.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Fischer). The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REED. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REED. Madam President, I rise in opposition to the nomination of 
Steven Mnuchin to be Secretary of the Treasury.
  No Cabinet official can have such a profound impact on our economy, 
on family budgets, on taxes, and on consumer protection as the 
Secretary of the Treasury. It is a job of immense reach that requires a 
steady hand, a commitment to fairness, and a deep

[[Page S1082]]

knowledge of our Nation's financial markets and the rules that protect 
the savings and investments of middle-class Americans. In light of this 
reality, I do not think Mr. Mnuchin meets these requirements.
  I know that for many of my fellow Rhode Islanders and for many 
Americans, the economy is not producing the jobs and wages they want 
and they need. I share that sentiment and have pushed for job and wage 
policies like the minimum wage, paid leave, and health care that help 
struggling families cope. I have pushed for job creation by putting 
people to work by rebuilding our Nation's roads, bridges, transit 
systems, schools, and new housing. But I think it is important that 
everyone in this Chamber take a step back and understand where our 
economy was, where it is today, and what is at stake.
  In 2007, the housing market began to collapse. One measure of the 
housing market is the seriously delinquent rate, which is the 
percentage of loans that are 90 days or more past due or in the process 
of foreclosure. Here are just a few examples of the hardest hit States: 
13.2 percent in Arizona in December 2009, 9.63 percent in Ohio in 
December 2009, and 20.61 percent in Florida in March 2010.
  By the end of President Obama's term in office, here are the 
seriously delinquent rates for those same States: 1.35 percent in 
Arizona in September of 2016, 3.59 percent in Ohio in September of 
2016, and 4.14 percent in Florida in September of 2016. Just to remind 
on this, Florida went from a seriously delinquent rate of over 20 
percent in 2010 to just over 4 percent in 2016 because of the policy, 
the programs that were initiated by the President and supported by this 
  In 2007, the unemployment rate began to skyrocket. Again, here is 
what that meant in a few States at their highest unemployment rates: 
11.2 percent in Arizona in November of 2009, 13.6 percent in Nevada in 
December 2010, 11 percent in Ohio in January 2010, 11.2 percent in 
Florida in January 2010, and in my home State, double digit 
unemployment rates also.
  By the end of President Obama's term in office, here are the 
preliminary rates for those states as of December 2016: 4.8 percent in 
Arizona, 5.1 percent in Nevada, 4.9 percent in Ohio, and 4.9 percent in 
Florida. We have seen improvement across the Nation.
  I urge my colleagues to take all of this into account when they 
consider Mr. Mnuchin.
  These are sobering numbers, and behind each of these numbers is an 
individual or a family, our constituents, who suffered real and serious 
harm. We owe it to our constituents to do something so that these 
generational losses will be prevented from happening again. We came out 
of a deep abyss through difficult work, through cooperative efforts; we 
have reached a point where we are poised, I hope, to continue to move 
forward, and we don't want to go back. That was at the heart of our 
work on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. 
It was to learn the lessons from this catastrophe so that we would 
never endure another in our history.
  Unfortunately, for some of my constituents in Rhode Island and others 
around the country, the aftershocks of that financial crisis have not 
fully dissipated. We are still living in some respects with what 
happened. There are still too many looking for a decent-paying job or 
facing gut-wrenching financial decisions like whether to turn the heat 
off or to skip feeding the family another day, just to make ends meet.
  Indeed, one of my constituents recently wrote:

       My wife and I lost nearly half our assets in the 2008 
     financial crisis. Over eight years later, and our house is 
     still worth less than the mortgage that remains on it. We are 
     both professionals, and will have to stay that way until we 
     are 75 in order to come close to the standard of living we 
     enjoy now during retirement. The financial reforms enacted 
     under Dodd Frank, and Obama's regulation that requires 
     financial advisers and brokers to act in their client's best 
     interests, are critical to my family's well-being and to the 
     health of the US economy. I would like to know how you plan 
     to defeat any attempts to unravel these rules. Given the 
     clear threat that Trump poses to our economy, and the losses 
     I have already suffered due to bankers' greed and 
     incompetence, without these rules I feel better off putting 
     my money in my basement and will do exactly that. At least we 
     won't lose half of what we own.

  Those are the words of a professional family in Rhode Island who have 
seen this struggle firsthand, and they ask this question: What are you 
going to do to protect the reforms and the advances we have made that 
have been manifested in the economic statistics that I shared with my 
  As you can see, for this Rhode Islander and for many others, the law 
we put in place to stanch the bleeding and stabilize the financial 
system is a critical help.
  But some have so demonized Dodd-Frank that they would have you 
believe otherwise. That may be why its opponents prefer calling it 
Dodd-Frank instead of its full name, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform 
and Consumer Protection Act, because it is about reforming Wall Street 
and protecting consumers. It is a lot easier to be against something 
called Dodd-Frank than it is to be against Wall Street reform and 
consumer protection. But as my colleagues just heard in my 
constituent's own words, Dodd-Frank is ``critical to my family's well-
being and to the health of the US economy.''
  The question I have to answer as my constituent's Senator is whether 
Mr. Mnuchin will support Dodd-Frank, push efforts to further reform 
Wall Street, and place as his highest priority the protection of 
consumers as our next Treasury Secretary.
  Based on a review of Mr. Mnuchin's record, the answer, to me, is very 
clear: No, he will not.
  As chairman of OneWest Bank, Mr. Mnuchin made a fortune employing 
questionable foreclosure practices that made the financial crisis worse 
for families and seniors. What is particularly worrisome is that 
OneWest engaged in so-called robo-signing, where companies cut crucial 
corners by not properly reviewing or even bothering to read foreclosure 
  Indeed, according to one news report:

       Erica Johnson-Seck, vice president of OneWest's department 
     of bankruptcy and foreclosures . . . robo-signed an average 
     of 750 foreclosure documents a week, according to a sworn 
     deposition she gave in a Florida case in July 2009 . . . 
     Under oath, Johnson-Seck acknowledged that she did not read 
     the documents she was signing, taking only about 30 seconds 
     to sign her name. To speed up the process, Johnson-Seck said 
     she shortened her first name on her signature to just an 
     ``E.'' She said in the deposition that OneWest's practice was 
     to review just 10 percent of the foreclosure documents for 

  As part of the confirmation process, when asked whether his company 
engaged in robo-signing, Mr. Mnuchin responded that OneWest did not 
robo-sign documents. However, it is not clear that this was the case, 
and not just because of Ms. Johnson-Seck's deposition. Quoting from a 
Bloomberg article written by one of Rhode Island's finest exports, Joe 
Nocera, who writes: ``But here's the clincher: In 2011, the man who now 
says his bank never robo-signed documents signed a consent order with 
the Office of Thrift Supervision, which had accused it of--you guessed 

  Disturbingly, Mr. Mnuchin's response on this issue either raises 
troubling questions about his management capabilities or his 
willingness to be forthright, or potentially both.
  Ironically, Mr. Mnuchin's confirmation process mirrors his career in 
at least one way. While the Senate Finance Committee normally requires 
at least one Democratic Senator to be present in order to vote in 
committee on a nominee, the normal rules were suspended so that Mr. 
Mnuchin could be reported out of committee for consideration by the 
full Senate. In other words, the rules were not followed, special 
shortcuts were created for him, and much like the robo-signing that 
occurred at OneWest, Mr. Mnuchin is on the path to robo-confirmation 
without a full and proper vetting by the United States Senate.
  The last thing this body should be doing is robo-stamping Mr. 
Mnuchin's nomination so that he, as Treasury Secretary, can change the 
rules and rig the system in favor of the insiders at the expense of 
working-class Americans who are working overtime just to, in many 
cases, make ends barely meet.
  For example, Mr. Mnuchin has stated that his first priority would be 
enactment of the Trump tax plan. This plan makes deep, unfunded cuts to 
revenue, and roughly half of the reduced tax burden is just for the top 
1 percent, the wealthy, who don't have to worry

[[Page S1083]]

about how much a gallon of milk costs, what it costs to ride the bus or 
fill the gas tank. We have seen what huge tax cuts for the wealthy will 
do to the economy. Just look at the economy in the late 2000s and the 
deficit. The economic plan endorsed by President Trump and Mr. Mnuchin 
will not help the middle class, but will only further skew the economy 
in favor of the wealthy and well-connected and do precious little for 
job growth.
  In addition, the incoming Treasury Secretary will be tasked with 
rolling back the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection 
Act in support of a President who said:

       We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank because, 
     frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine that have 
     nice businesses, and they can't borrow money. . . . They just 
     can't get any money because the banks just won't let them 
     borrow because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank.

  Indeed, Mr. Mnuchin seems all too eager to assist because he himself 
has said that ``we want to strip back parts of Dodd-Frank that prevent 
banks from lending.''
  We are simply not seeing this, though. According to JPMorgan's chief 
financial officer, Marianne Lake, on an analyst conference call last 
month, ``loan growth remains robust.''
  According to Bloomberg:

       At JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank, core loans increased 10 
     percent to $806.2 billion last year, with gains in every 
     category, including credit cards and wholesale debt. Bank of 
     America Corp.'s total loans climbed 1.1 percent to $906.8 
     billion, while Wells Fargo & Co.'s grew 5.6 percent to $968 

  According to the same article, ``banks now have a record $9.1 
trillion of loans outstanding.''
  Based on this, it seems that big bank lending is actually doing well, 
and maybe the reason the President's friends have not gotten loans is 
that they borrowed too much and possibly have gone bankrupt too much, 
and the megabanks want to be careful about whom they lend to.
  Indeed, Anat Admati, a finance professor at Stanford University and a 
member of the FDIC's Systemic Resolution Advisory Committee, notes 

       The claim that regulations are prohibiting lending is 
     simply false. . . . The banks have plenty of money and can 
     raise more from investors like other businesses if they have 
     worthy loans to make. If they don't lend, it's because they 
     choose not to lend and instead do many other things.

  This is a key point. According to Bloomberg:

       Banks don't actually ``hold'' capital. In banking, capital 
     refers to the funding they receive from shareholders. Every 
     penny of it can be loaned out. A 5 percent minimum capital 
     requirement means that 5 percent of the bank's liabilities 
     has to be equity, while the rest can be deposits or other 
     borrowing. The more equity a bank has, the smaller its risk 
     of failing when losses pile up.

  Given the protection that equity provides, you are left to wonder why 
Mr. Mnuchin and President Trump are so anti-capital.
  Indeed, from that same Bloomberg article:

       Former Goldman Sachs partner Phillip D. Murphy, who was a 
     member of the banks' management committee with [National 
     Economic Council Director Gary] Cohn and Treasury Secretary 
     nominee Steven Mnuchin, said he's mystified with the changes 
     they're pushing. ``To think that undoing those regulations is 
     going to lead to a better result is folly,'' said Murphy, 
     who's seeking the Democratic nomination in this year's 
     gubernatorial race. ``The fox is in the hen house, that's 
     what this is. This is people on Wall Street who should know 

  For an administration that campaigned on a claim of dismantling a 
rigged system, I am confused why President Trump nominated Mr. Mnuchin 
to be his economic quarterback for working-class America. Mr. Mnuchin 
has spent his professional life spotting value, and he has done quite 
well for himself. But despite this ability to value assets, Mr. Mnuchin 
still seems puzzled about how to value the assets that matter most to 
working class Americans. My constituents don't need fancy Wall Street 
calculators or formulas to understand that there is a value and a 
benefit to reforming Wall Street and keeping reckless greed in check. 
There is a value and a benefit to protecting consumers and their hard-
earned wages. And there is a value and a benefit to keeping a family in 
their home and avoiding foreclosure.
  Indeed, an individual who made his fortune aggressively foreclosing 
on his fellow Americans does not possess the right values, in my view, 
to be our Treasury Secretary.
  Based on his record, I am not convinced Mr. Mnuchin is capable of 
draining the swamp, and I fear he may end up further rigging the system 
in favor of the 1 percent at the expense of working class 
Americans. For all of these reasons, I do not support Mr. Mnuchin's 
nomination, and I urge all my colleagues to join me in voting no.

  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REED. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REED. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that I be allowed 
to yield the remainder of my time to Senator Wyden of Oregon.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REED. Madam President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BROWN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BROWN. Madam President, American families, hard-working American 
families need a Treasury Secretary who will work for them, not for Wall 
Street. Remember the tenor of the 2016 campaign, when candidate Trump, 
at every rally, spoke forcefully about draining the swamp. What we 
thought he meant was that he would drain the swamp, that he would not 
be hiring a whole bunch of Wall Street executives, Goldman Sachs 
employees, and other bankers who helped drive the economy into a ditch; 
that he would actually stay away from them.
  In fact, we have seen the opposite. It has become obvious that the 
Treasury Secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin is not about hard-working 
American families, but he is about working for Wall Street. The 
Treasury Secretary has enormous influence over Americans' lives, 
impacting everything from their taxes to their mortgages to their 
  Mr. Mnuchin doesn't have a policy background to give us clues as to 
what he would do with his power. He was a major Trump fundraiser. Here 
is what we do know. He made millions as a hedge fund manager. He made 
millions at Goldman Sachs, where he traded mortgage securities and 
other products that contributed to the financial crisis. He headed what 
has been called a foreclosure machine, profiting in kicking hard-
working Americans out of their homes.
  When presented with tough questions from members of the Finance 
Committee in front of which he appeared, Mr. Mnuchin expected leniency 
and understanding from a bunch of Senators, but it is not something 
that he gave--leniency and understanding for Ohio families trying to 
keep a roof over their heads. They got the runaround from lenders with 
claims of lost documents, modifications that weren't honored, dual 
tracking. When this confirmation process began, we believe that Mr. 
Mnuchin and his bank, OneWest, had foreclosed on at least 40,000 people 
in three States. We understand--not because of information that he was 
willing, voluntarily at the beginning to provide--we understand now 
that it is at least eight States, and I expect we will learn more.
  Unfortunately, he probably will be Treasury Secretary by the time a 
lot of this comes out because the Finance Committee didn't do its job, 
because Mr. Mnuchin wasn't forthcoming enough, because this Senate is 
trying to rush through ethically challenged candidates to be 
Secretaries of HHS, the EPA, Education, State, and Treasury.
  OneWest's regulator, the regulator from Mr. Mnuchin's bank when he 
was CEO--they had shoddy mortgage practices, the regulator said. They 
foreclosed on more than 10,000 borrowers, including some who were 
current on their mortgage.
  I want to put a picture up on one of the borrowers who was foreclosed 
on not far from where I live. The ZIP Code I live in, in Cleveland, OH, 
had the

[[Page S1084]]

highest in 2007--the first half of that year, had more foreclosures 
than any ZIP Code in the United States. To a bunch of U.S. Senators, 
that is a little troubling. A lot of foreclosures, terrible thing. But 
most U.S. Senators have probably never been foreclosed on, and I am 
guessing most U.S. Senators have never spent a lot of time socially 
with people who are foreclosed on. And I am guessing a whole lot of 
Senators have probably never even talked in detail about what it means 
to be foreclosed on.
  Think about it. Your family is struggling. Your family lives in a 
home in Slavic Village, OH, a mile north of my House. And you have been 
working hard, you and your spouse. The parents have worked hard. The 
kids are teenagers--the challenges that all families have. They are 
making moderate incomes. The wife has her hours cut back. Then they are 
struggling. They have trouble paying their mortgage. They keep paying 
it. Then the husband has his plant closed. And in some cases, in this 
lady's case--I will talk about her in a moment--she was foreclosed on, 
not even because she lost a job. She was foreclosed on because of what 
Mr. Mnuchin said.
  When we talk about foreclosures, we ought to think about what happens 
to these families. The wife maybe has hours cut back, the husband loses 
his job because the plant closes. Then what happens? They go to the 
kids and say: We have to get rid of our pet because pets cost money 
going to the vet, buying food, putting them for a weekend or day 
somewhere. They have to take the animal for somebody else to watch. So 
they give a pet away, which is heartbreaking to kids and to parents. 
Then they have to cut back on other things. Then they realize they are 
about to be foreclosed on or evicted. Then they have to move. They 
bring their son and daughter, 12 and 14 years old, in and they say: We 
don't know what school district you are going to be in. We don't know 
where you are going. We don't know if you will be around your friends 
because we are moving--all those things where their lives turn upside 
down. They lose many of their possessions. Their children's lives are 
so different. Their lives are turned upside down.
  That is why what Mr. Mnuchin did on these 40,000 foreclosures is 
morally repugnant and outrageous. Yet this Senate is only 3 days away 
from party-line voting for this incredibly ethically challenged 
Secretary of the Treasury. Why? I guess listening to my Republican 
friends here, a number of them suggest they really don't much like this 
nominee. They didn't much like Secretary Price, a guy who did 
everything but sell stocks on the floor of the House--bought and sold 
health care stocks while he was working on health care legislation for 
those companies. They didn't much like voting for him. And a number of 
them wanted to vote against the Secretary of Education because she was 
maybe just the least qualified, as the Presiding Officer knows. She may 
be the least qualified Secretary of Education who has ever been 
nominated, but they voted for these people. Why? Because they are 
fearful. They are fearful of what Donald Trump will try to do to 
destroy their careers. You know how they know that? Because the 
Republican conference that meets every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 
in this room right behind this door--the Republican conference--there 
are three Members of the Republican conference, of the 52 Senators, who 
ran for President against Donald Trump. They are Senators Graham, Rubio 
and Cruz. All three of them were targets of Donald Trump, of Candidate 
Donald Trump. He insulted them, called them names, turned his 
supporters on them. The other--52 minus 3--the other 49 Senators know 
it can happen to them. That is why you are seeing these party-line 
votes for people as ethically challenged as Steve Mnuchin, for people 
who have, frankly, betrayed what trust they should have had working for 
a bank the way they did.

  As I said, a OneWest regulator said his bank foreclosed on more than 
10,000 borrowers. When I said 40,000, I misspoke. We know it was 40,000 
in three States. A number of them--the OneWest regulator said something 
different, a smaller number that dealt with shoddy mortgage practices.
  But whatever the number is here, it is in the tens of thousands. 
Think about that. Some of these were not even families who were 
struggling to keep their homes. These families were doing everything 
right. They paid their mortgages on time. His bank came and took their 
houses away because he could make more money. He did not care about 
these people losing their homes.
  If he did not care as a banker about people losing their homes, do 
you think he is going to care much as Treasury Secretary about people 
losing their homes? Do you think he will all of a sudden develop an 
empathy for moderate-income people who lose their homes?
  He did not have it when he was a banker making millions of dollars. 
One of the things that is amazing is that he came in front of our 
committee. You know, these gazillionaires, billionaires, whatever, who 
come in front of our committees have to disclose their wealth and tell 
us who they are and what they are.
  When Secretary-designee Mnuchin came in front of the committee--get 
this. I know I can't talk directly to people in the gallery, but I am 
guessing this would not have happened to them. He forgot to disclose 
that he had a $100 million investment somewhere. He forgot about $100 
million. I am guessing that nobody in this gallery, probably nobody on 
the floor, certainly no staff people back here because I know what they 
are paid--none of them would forget that they had a $100 million 
investment. Maybe he just did not want to tell us about this $100 
million investment any more than he wanted to tell us about those robo-
signings that I will talk about in a minute.
  The report that I mentioned from the regulators said that Mr. 
Mnuchin's bank violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act by 
initiating foreclosure on 54 Active Duty military families. So, I mean, 
maybe that is worse; maybe it is not. I think it is probably even worse 
to foreclose on people who generally did not do anything wrong, but 
then he foreclosed on men and women in uniform, and put them out of 
their homes to pad his own bank's profits.
  I would assume some of these people in the military he foreclosed on 
might have just been stationed overseas, protecting Mr. Mnuchin and his 
family, protecting me, protecting Erin and my staff, and Graham and 
Gideon and others; that is what they do in the military. He foreclosed 
on them. So, again, he had no empathy for these men and women in the 
service. What? He is going to care about these men and women when he is 
Treasury Secretary?
  We now know this foreclosure was even worse than we initially 
thought. Around the time of the hearing, the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio's 
most conservative newspaper, a newspaper that always likes Republicans 
and rarely likes people like me--the Columbus Dispatch ran a front-page 
investigative story that found that OneWest used robo-signings in 
mortgage documents with abandon.
  This, despite the fact that Mr. Mnuchin claimed in testimony before 
the Senate Finance Committee that his company had never done so--if you 
are the CEO making tens of millions of dollars a year, would you not 
know they did robo-signings? Wouldn't you know that they just had staff 
that signed, signed, signed without looking at these documents, 
spending an average of less than 1 minute on each document?
  So you are going approve a document which might have to do with a 
loan to someone, and you did not even spend--as the bank, you did not 
even spend 60 seconds looking at this. Why? Because all of the profits 
were generated by volume. Quality did not matter. All the profits for 
this bank--or much of the profits--were generated by volume.
  Ohio reporters found dozens of foreclosure cases in Franklin County 
alone--Columbus--that had been robo-signed. Yes, Mr. Mnuchin, in this 
town nobody wants to use the word I am going to use. They want to say 
that it was a half-truth or it was not quite right or it was 
fabricated. No, what Mr. Mnuchin did is lie. He said: We did not do 
  Well, the Columbus Dispatch--this was up there a moment ago--the 
Columbus Dispatch said he did. He lied. They say it more nicely, 
perhaps: Mnuchin's denials don't match the record. He lied.

[[Page S1085]]

  Again, his lying was not just lying. It was what he lied about, and 
people lost their homes as a result.
  Bill Faith, one of Ohio's and America's housing advocates told the 
Dispatch, ``The guy is just lying. There is no other way to say it.''
  The guy is just lying. Since the Dispatch ran the article--this 
article--they have continued to report additional findings. Other 
reporters in other cities have uncovered more instances of robo-
signings by Mr. Mnuchin's bank.
  I am especially concerned about his defensiveness and outright 
deception when asked about this. His misconduct caused real, serious 
pain. That is fundamentally the big issue. It is bad that he lied to a 
bunch of Senators. OK. That is maybe not that big a deal. It is, but it 
isn't. It is bad that he lied to the American public, but he lied about 
something that resulted in people getting evicted, foreclosed on, 
thrown out of their homes--people with families, people serving in the 
Armed Forces. That is not enough reason for any Republican--not one 
Republican--to vote against him? Not one Republican?
  I would like some of my colleagues to meet some of these people who 
were foreclosed on and have them explain to them why they are voting 
for Mr. Mnuchin. Is it because of fear that Donald Trump might call 
them out and call them a name and try to destroy their career? 
Apparently. I can't think of any other reason.

  One victim, and I will put her name up, lives, as I said, maybe only 
5 miles from where my wife and I live. She is a social worker from 
Cleveland Heights. Her name is Carla Duncan. She told the Dispatch, 
``It got to the point that I was afraid to open my own door.''
  Mr. Faith, whom I quoted before, said it has been devastating, not 
only to people who got caught in this kind of scheme but also to people 
who happened to live in the neighborhood, people like Ms. Duncan. It is 
scary that this man, whose bank--because of the behavior of that bank, 
because of a policy handed down by Mr. Mnuchin, because of a policy 
about which he lied--lied to the committee of the Senate, lied 
according to the most Republican conservative paper in Ohio, and she 
lost her home.
  This guy is going to be the Secretary of the Treasury when he did all 
of that. It is scary. It is scary for hard-working families in Ohio and 
across the country who are still digging out from the financial crisis. 
I have said on this floor a number of times: ZIP Code 44105 in 
Cleveland where I live had more foreclosures than any ZIP Code in the 
United States of America in the first half of 2007.
  How can the people of Ohio of ZIP Code 44105 or any other ZIP Code in 
a State like mine or Nevada or Nebraska or a number of other States--
how can they trust this Secretary of the Treasury who not only profited 
off this crisis but made it worse? How can you elevate somebody like 
that to being Secretary of the Treasury?
  One of his employees said the bank did not have any process in place 
to help families avoid foreclosures. It might cost the bank some 
profits if they helped these families avoid foreclosure. So, what the 
heck--foreclosure, we make more money that way. That was Mr. Mnuchin's 
bottom line. His bank was not even pretending to care about the 
thousands of families who could lose their homes and, with them, their 
  Lincoln once said--his staff always insisted he stay in the White 
House and win the war and free the slaves and preserve the Union. 
Lincoln said: No, I have to go out and get my public-opinion bath. In 
other words, I want to talk to people whose lives are affected because 
of the decisions that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United 
States, make. I want to know what people's lives are like--as much as I 
can understand--so I can make the right decision.
  Do you think that Mr. Mnuchin has spoken to these families? Do you 
think he has met Ms. Duncan? I assume not.
  Do you think he has spoken to any of these families who lost 
everything when his bank took their homes and turned their lives upside 
down? Do you think he talked to any of them?
  Do any of my Republican colleagues talk to people who have lost their 
homes because of something a greedy bank executive did? If any of my 
Republican colleagues would talk to people like Ms. Duncan, I am 
thinking they would not--you know the line: One bird flies off a 
telephone wire, they all fly off.
  I am thinking my Republican colleagues would not quite all be flying 
off the telephone wire in unanimity and in consensus to vote for people 
like Stephen Mnuchin, who is ethically challenged, who has wreaked so 
much havoc on so many people's lives, who has shown no empathy for 
people, like Ms. Duncan, who were foreclosed on.
  We are going to elevate him to Secretary of the Treasury because 
every one of my Republican colleagues is going to go: Yes. Yes. Yes. 
Yes--52 times. I guess that is what is happening. But it would be 
really nice if some of my colleagues would go and speak to the Ms. 
Duncans of the world and call up Mr. Mnuchin and say: Give us a list of 
the people you foreclosed on. We would like to talk to some of them 
before we vote.
  I know we are voting on Monday. My colleagues, mostly, are home for 
the weekend. I am not sure they are going to have dinner with very many 
of these Ms. Duncans. I think they are probably going to have dinner at 
nicer places than Ms. Duncan has been able to go to because of the 
economic problems caused by this future Treasury Secretary.
  At his confirmation hearing, Mr. Mnuchin actually said to the 
committee that he ``never wanted to be in the mortgage servicing 
business.'' It showed in his treatment of homeowners, including the 
Active-Duty members of our military in Ohio and across the country. It 
is a strange thing to say, for someone who brought a thrift that held 
more than $20 billion of its own mortgages and serviced $185 billion 
worth of mortgages in total. He said he did not want to do this, but 
then he bought that bank. I don't know quite what he was talking about.
  It concerns me because he suggests he was more focused on turning a 
profit--pretty obvious. We know that. What he was doing, instead of 
helping Americans keep their homes was--while he was CEO of OneWest, 
what was he doing? He was handing out hundreds of millions of dollars 
in insider loans to a troubled Hollywood media company.
  So on the one side he is foreclosing on people's homes. He is making 
a lot of money doing that. He is making a lot of money, so he had a lot 
of money to hand out. He is handing out hundreds of millions of dollars 
in insider loans to a company in Hollywood, a media company called 
Relativity. He was friends with the CEO of Relativity. His hedge fund, 
Dune, was an investor. He was cochairman of the board.
  On top of all this, the FBI is investigating Relativity. A group of 
Relativity investors have filed a lawsuit accusing him of fraud.
  It is bad enough what happened to Ms. Duncan and how he lied to the 
committee, not to mention the FBI investigation and all of that. A guy 
like that could not get elected to the Senate with his ethics 
  Do you know what else? He probably could not get hired in the 
Treasury Department or in this body with those kinds of ethics, but we 
are going to vote for him--52 of my colleagues, all apparently afraid 
of Donald Trump calling them out, giving them a nickname, and ruining 
their careers. They are all going to vote 52 times--52 of them--for him 
as Secretary of Treasury.

  So let's review: False testimony, families losing their homes to a 
big bank's abusive practices, fraud accusations, insider loans, and 
this President chose Mr. Mnuchin, this President who said he is going 
to drain the swamp.
  Mr. Mnuchin made a fortune kicking military servicemembers and 
seniors and working families out of their homes. He gave false 
testimony to the Finance Committee. With that record, what are Wall 
Street lawbreakers going to think when he is supposed to be the top 
voice on financial oversight?
  He has never had empathy for people like Ms. Duncan. He really did 
not much care or talk to these people who lost their homes. He also 
won't do that as Secretary of the Treasury. He won't--I can't imagine--
show any empathy toward people who are hurt by his actions.
  He is also setting an example to Wall Street that now there is no 
sheriff in

[[Page S1086]]

town. If you are Wall Street, you can get away with anything with this 
guy as Secretary of the Treasury. You can get away with anything with 
Steve Mnuchin as Secretary of the Treasury.
  Last week, the former second in command at Goldman Sachs, Clevelander 
Gary Cohn, went on TV to praise the President's Executive order to 
start rolling back Wall Street reforms. The Executive order puts Steve 
Mnuchin, if he is confirmed, in change of dismantling Wall Street 
  After the crisis, Democrats put a real cop on the beat by creating 
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This independent law 
enforcement agency returned $12 billion in hard-earned money back to 29 
million Americans. We know it works. We also know that Wall Street 
hates the consumer bureau.
  The American people don't suffer from the same collective amnesia 
that Wall Street and its allies in Congress have about how devastating 
the crisis was for our country. The people we represent know, and 
Mnuchin's bank proves, when we turn the reins to Wall Street, it is 
working families who pay the price. Wall Street has recovered from this 
financial crisis. ZIP Code 44105 in Cleveland has not recovered from 
this financial crisis. Seniors who have lost savings haven't recovered. 
People who have lost jobs haven't recovered. People who have lost their 
homes haven't recovered.

  Mr. Mnuchin has done just fine. People at Goldman Sachs have done 
just fine, and so many others have. I just don't know how we trust Mr. 
Mnuchin to rein in Wall Street.
  I would ask my colleagues, in conclusion, if they believe misleading 
the Senate should disqualify them from confirmation because how are we 
going to have hearings in the future when people--they may raise their 
right hand and swear an oath or they may not. But it is generally 
expected that, if you are going to testify in the Finance Committee, 
you might want to tell the truth. It is kind of expected. It is kind of 
what you are expected to do.
  But Congressman Price didn't tell the truth. Now he is the Secretary 
of Health and Human Services. He lied, according to the Wall Street 
Journal, America's most conservative mainstream newspaper. Mr. Mnuchin, 
came in front of the Finance Committee. He lied, according to the 
Columbus Dispatch, Ohio's most conservative Republican newspaper. So 
why should testimony to a Senate committee even matter? Why should it 
even matter? When you put a cop on the beat like Mr. Mnuchin, why 
should Wall Street get more honest instead of even less honest when it 
comes to abusing the public? That is my fear if Secretary Mnuchin is 
  Again, I am sorry my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are 
just--they are afraid of this President of the United States.
  In a few months, they will quit being afraid of him because they will 
realize the kind of President it looks like he is turning out to be. It 
seems to me they may be the last to learn this.

                        HHS Secretary Tom Price

  Madam President, I want to talk for a moment about Secretary Price, 
now the new Secretary of Health and Human Services and just read a 
couple of letters from people in Ohio and what this would mean to them.
  A family physician from Cleveland, OH, wrote me:

       I have seen firsthand the benefits of Medicaid expansion 
     here in Ohio. I also have a son who has had three brain 
     surgeries and has epilepsy as a result. His ability to get 
     health insurance in the future is a very real worry.

  He is concerned about Dr. Price as Secretary of Health and Human 
Services. He said:

       His past record of trying to dismantle the ACA and his 
     opposition to women's reproductive health rights disqualify 

  Another family wrote from Medina, OH, about the confirmation of 
Congressman Price to be Secretary:

       The ACA protections of coverage pre-existing conditions and 
     removal of lifetime caps were an absolute lifesaver for me, 
       As my disease has progressed, I have required multiple new 
     medications and treatments. Currently, my yearly maintenance 
     medications cost nearly $400,000. That doesn't include 
     additional appointments, testing, IV medications. . . .
       Prior to the ACA being passed, I had a lifetime cap of 1 
     million dollars. If this cap came back--

  And my colleagues want to repeal it. If this cap came back and they 
reestablish the cap, reestablish the denial of coverage for preexisting 

       If this cap came back, my insurance will last possibly less 
     than 2 years. Then what?
       My husband and children will already lose me in the coming 
     years, regardless. I am simply asking that they not be forced 
     to lose everything else in the process.

  So I hope we have learned from a really bad decision last night on 
confirmation. I would hope that just two or three or four Republicans 
could break from this party-line train running through this body, stand 
up for the right things, stand up against the ethical challenges of 
this nominee. I understand the President may call names, may tweet 
about them, may try to ruin their careers. Show some courage. Show some 
guts, and do the right thing. Vote no on Steven Mnuchin for Secretary 
of Treasury.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.
  Mr. WARNER. Madam President, I want to compliment my friend, the 
Senator from Ohio, for his comments. I know my friend, the Senator from 
Washington, is going to make comments after this, so I will try to make 
mine as brief as possible.
  I apologize. I joined the majority of Senators who are a little bit 
raspy today after our late night last night.
  I rise in opposition to the nomination of Steven Mnuchin to serve as 
our Nation's next Secretary of the Treasury.
  As the President's principal economic adviser, the Treasury Secretary 
holds a special significance in our system of government. The Treasury 
Department must ensure America's debts are paid, secure our role as a 
global economic power, and develop policies that help build an economy 
that works for all Americans.
  Based on Mr. Mnuchin's record, my meeting with him, along with his 
answers during the Senate Finance hearing and followup questions, I am 
unable to support his nomination to serve as Treasury Secretary.
  I want to take time today to discuss some specific policy issues that 
Mr. Mnuchin and I disagree with and some of the areas where I hope that 
if he is confirmed, we might be able to find common ground.
  On financial reform and protecting the economy from too big to fail, 
Mr. Mnuchin's comments, coupled with comments and announcements from 
others in the administration, are deeply concerning.
  Mr. Mnuchin's statements of ``concern'' about title II of Dodd-Frank, 
in particular, revealed to my mind, at least, a disturbing lack of 
understanding about how the financial system has evolved since the 2008 
  We should never forget that Lehman Brothers' collapse caused enough 
uncertainty across the financial system to trigger a run on nearly 
every other bank. The Lehman collapse also was part of the requirements 
that required that $700 billion much fabled taxpayer bailout.
  The resulting financial chaos destroyed millions of jobs, devastated 
home values, and froze lending to consumers and small businesses. The 
truth is, many Americans are still trying to dig their way out of that 
financial crisis.
  To ensure that taxpayers didn't end up on the hook again for another 
bailout, Congress passed Dodd-Frank that required banks to put in 
additional financial capital to make sure there were living wills so 
these large, significant financial institutions actually had ways that 
they could resolve themselves and, in a sense, get ready for 
bankruptcy. But we also said, in the event that bankruptcy was not 
adequate, there would be, as a cause of last resort, the ability using 
the FDIC to unwind these large institutions.
  Well, we are years later and what we have seen is that other 
countries around the globe had basically modeled their systems after 
what we created in terms of title I and II in Dodd-Frank.
  Since 2010, our regulators have worked diligently with the Bank of 
England and other foreign counterparts to ensure a global megabank can 
be resolved without using taxpayer dollars.
  I would further note that even the National Bankruptcy Conference, 
which is composed of bankruptcy judges, lawyers, and academics, believe 
``orderly liquidation authority under Title II should continue to be 
available, even if the bankruptcy code is amended.''

[[Page S1087]]

  Unfortunately, Mr. Mnuchin and other members of the administration 
have expressed great concern with title II, and that causes me concern 
in terms of his nomination.
  In tax reform, the Secretary of the Treasury has also historically 
played an important role. I have long argued that our Tax Code is 
broken. It is simply not working for enough Americans and American 
  I would welcome efforts to smartly--and on a bipartisan basis--work 
to reform the Tax Code, but I am concerned about how a tax reform 
process under this administration might play out.
  First, Mr. Mnuchin has repeatedly said there should be no absolute 
tax cut for the upper class. I found that good. Some have even started 
to call this the ``Mnuchin rule.''
  As the nominee, though, he has failed to commit to following his own 
rule or to provide any specific answer on how he would reduce the tax 
burden on middle class and working families. In fact, President Trump 
campaigned on a plan that based upon independent budget analysis, would 
add close to $5 trillion to our national debt and that would, in the 
same amount, slash taxes for corporations and those at the top of the 
income scale. Yet this same plan and any effort to be revenue-neutral 
would end up then raising taxes on middle-class families.
  The truth is, again, an independent analysis of President Trump's 
plan shows that while middle-class earners might see a smaller increase 
in their aftertax income, the increase and the benefits to the upper 1 
percent would be where most of the benefits went to. That is before we 
even get to issues like the President's plan to repeal the Affordable 
Care Act and the implications that has for middle-class Americans.
  Because of this and because of his unwillingness to explain how we 
would pay for this tax reform and the notion that somehow through 
dynamic scoring this would all, in effect, self-correct leaves me with 
great concerns. I would simply point out to my colleagues that when Mr. 
Camp proposed a tax reform plan that I didn't agree with--but it at 
least had some basis in financial reality--there were eight separate 
dynamic scoring plans put together; in effect, magic dust that could 
somehow resolve even big tax cuts that would suddenly, somehow 
mysteriously pay for themselves.
  We saw the effects of that kind of action with the Bush tax cuts 
early in 2003. We have seen this well in terms of actions that have led 
our country to $20 trillion in debt.
  So I believe that Mr. Mnuchin's failure to come through with a truly 
revenue-neutral or legitimate plan that would not misuse dynamic 
scoring raises enormous concern as well.
  Finally, I am concerned that Mr. Mnuchin lacks an understanding of 
the critical role the Treasury Department plays in both crafting and 
implementing economic standards.
  It was useful to hear that Mr. Mnuchin committed to 100 percent 
sanctions during his nomination. I am not sure, with some of the 
actions of the administration since then, if we can actually hold him 
to those commitments.
  Treasury obviously has a role that is much more important than just 
enforcement. Treasury's role vis-a-vis Iran, Treasury's role vis-a-vis 
the Russian sanctions are extraordinarily important in his 
unwillingness, particularly around Russia, to make a firm commitment. 
Again, this raises a clear concern for me, and this is a concern that 
is shared by both Democratic and Republican Members of the Senate who 
feel that we need to keep the pressure on Mr. Putin's behavior not only 
in the Middle East but in Ukraine and, candidly, Russia's unprecedented 
involvement and interference in our own election.
  Again, the Treasury Secretary plays an important and critical role.
  There are areas--let me make clear though--where, if Mr. Mnuchin is 
confirmed, I hope to work with him, and that one area in particular is 
housing finance.
  I believe very strongly--and having worked with many Members on the 
other side--that we need to reform our housing finance system so we 
don't have, in the case of Fannie and Freddie, instances where when 
times are going good, there is private sector gain, but when crisis 
happens, the taxpayer pays the bill.
  We saw this take place back in 2008, where the American taxpayers 
literally had to put up $188 billion of taxpayer money to bail out 
Fannie and Freddie.
  It is true, many years later, most of those funds have been repaid, 
but as somebody who spent longer as a venture capitalist than I have as 
a Senator, I can assure you, the taxpayer did not get fair return on 
those funds that were taken out in the midst of the crisis.
  Now we see certain hedge funds were trying to take advantage of this 
arbitrage, buy in to Freddie and Fannie, and then hope that 
policymakers will turn a blind eye and simply return to the old style 
of doing business, where as long as things are going well, hedge funds 
and others will do well by owning Fannie and Freddie, but if the stuff 
hits the fan again, taxpayers will be caught holding the bill.
  I was happy to hear--and I was pleased to hear that Mr. Mnuchin went 
on record during the Finance hearing, opposing the so-called recap and 
release plan and was supporting a bipartisan solution to reform these 
  Again, if Mr. Mnuchin is confirmed, I look forward to working with 
him in this area.
  Finally, there is an area that I think most of us on both sides of 
the aisle realize that we can't play Russian roulette with and that is 
dealing with our debt ceiling. Here again was an area where I would 
actually give Mr. Mnuchin some credit because he acknowledged that the 
notion that some have put forward that if America would prioritize to 
pay one bill and not another is both financially unsound and 
practically impossible. On that item, I want to give Mr. Mnuchin his 
  On balance, because of some of the comments that Mr. Mnuchin has made 
around tax reform, around sanctions, around the issues related to 
making sure we have a vigorous and independent Treasury, I don't 
believe he brings the characteristics and qualities needed to be a 
Treasury Secretary. So I will not be able to support his nomination, 
and I will urge my colleagues in joining me to oppose him when his vote 
comes up on Monday.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Madam President, I come to the floor this afternoon 
with my colleagues to speak about the nomination of Steve Mnuchin for 
the Secretary of Treasury.
  We all know this is a very important economic position in our Federal 
Government, but it is also a position of great importance for the 
entire world economy. The Secretary of Treasury is a key Presidential 
adviser on important economic and tax policy, and has an impact on the 
lives of millions of people across the United States. But most 
importantly, the Secretary will be on the front lines protecting and 
restoring our economy from the unbelievable economic crisis that we 
faced in 2008.
  I like to say that this crisis--which, according to the Dallas Fed, 
which cost us $14 trillion--is not over. That is, average Americans 
still have not recovered from the crisis when it comes to their 401(k) 
or their pension or the opportunity to send their kids to school or 
perhaps even homeownership. It is very important that we have a 
Treasury Secretary who not only says that they will protect the United 
States in the future from another financial crisis, but that they are 
also on the job making sure we restore economic opportunities for 
everyday Americans.
  I would have to say that Mr. Mnuchin certainly has lived the American 
dream. You would say that he is a man who has achieved financial 
success. But is he going to fight for the average American who has not 
achieved that success because of the economic downturn in 2008? Is he 
going to make sure that our resources and dollars not only grow the 
economy, but make sure that those who have been impacted the most are 
restored in some way?
  I personally did not support the bailout of the banks. I did not give 
the keys of the Treasury to those big organizations, and many people in 
the State of Washington and across America during this last campaign 
want to know why they did not receive financial help during that 
downturn, but people were so willing to bail out these

[[Page S1088]]

large organizations. So it is very important that we look at the 
nomination today in light of what has transpired and what we are going 
to do moving forward to help the economic security of so many 
  This position, which includes chairing the Financial Stability 
Oversight Council and moderating systemic risk to our entire financial 
system, is a very big job. It requires someone with both expertise in 
policy and experience in public service, as well, because you are 
balancing these issues for the public.
  I find it sometimes very difficult to explain in detail those 
policies to my constituents, particularly about balancing the public 
interest, when they have seen that all some want to do, as I said, is 
give the keys to the Treasury to those large financial organizations. 
There is a lot to talk about that here today.
  In my opinion the Treasury Department needs a seasoned and 
experienced public servant who understands our ship has been sailing 
through turbulent waters, and will focus on making sure that America 
returns to economic stability.
  I had an opportunity to meet with the Treasury Secretary nominee. He 
has admitted throughout his confirmation hearing that he was the chief 
fundraiser for President Trump during his election. In fact, when I 
asked him why he wanted to be Treasury Secretary, he told me that he 
had spent many hours campaigning with the President-elect around the 
United States and he wanted to continue that relationship. This isn't 
exactly the type of experience that I am looking for. I want somebody 
who is going to continue to help us dig out of those economic problems 
that plague so many average Americans--on many issues, whether it is 
pensions or investing in education or growing our economy at a robust 
rate, that bring everybody up to a higher economic standard of living.
  One issue that plagues me the most in thinking about this particular 
nominee is the issue of Glass-Steagall, the separation of commercial 
and investment banking.
  Why would that issue be so important?
  It is so important because this was the law of the land for more than 
60 years in the United States of America after the Great Depression. 
Why? Because people understood we should not be putting individual 
savings--and taxpayer money--at risk when you have a financial crisis. 
So we implemented that law of the land.
  I have not been shy about trying to work with my colleagues on both 
sides of the aisle to reinstate Glass-Steagall, and, during the 
financial regulatory reform debate, make sure we were putting strong 
laws on the books. I always felt that there would be a time when 
average Americans really could look back on all that Congress had done 
and say they were satisfied or dissatisfied with the rules that were in 
  Well, I think that time happened during the last election. There was 
a lot of discussion that while we had passed what was then called Dodd-
Frank--the regulatory reform that this Congress passed, I felt like we 
could do more. A lot of the discussion was that Dodd-Frank didn't go 
far enough, that somehow we needed to do more. The compromise shaped 
here in the Senate, was said by some people, was as much as we could 
do, and that we should put those rules in place and see how they worked 
for the U.S. economy. I supported it because it was enough to get on 
the books, to start getting disclosure, to start making sure that these 
transactions would have more oversight, but I never thought--never 
thought--it was the bright line that we needed to separate commercial 
and investment banking.

  So you can imagine that it was to my great delight when I saw last 
summer the debate between the Republican and Democratic platforms in 
which the Republican platform actually started to embrace Glass-
Steagall. They had a campaign, they had a Presidential candidate, and 
they certainly had a Presidential campaign manager who were all 
embracing it and touting it. I don't know if that was an effort to try 
to distinguish between some of the candidates on the other side of the 
aisle, or my colleague from Vermont who has also been a big supporter 
of Glass-Steagall, but they clearly put in their platform something 
that was unambiguous. It basically said: ``We support reinstating the 
Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which prohibits commercial banks from being 
engaged in high-risk investment.'' That is what their platform said, 
and that is what our now-President's then campaign manager also said 
they were for. That caught my ear because I thought maybe we had 
finally reached a point with the frustration of the American public 
about how they had been left behind after the financial crisis, and 
that they finally were seeing two candidates and several campaigns 
talking about this issue, putting it in their platform, and moving 
  It was the Trump campaign manager who said:

       ``We are supporting the small banks and Main Street. We 
     talk about legislation that affects, you know, some of the 
     mistakes that were made in repealing Glass-Steagall.''

  This was the party platform of the other side of the aisle. In fact I 
have to say I almost thought it was probably a better platform than we 
had on the Democratic side, and I wanted to make sure that my 
colleagues knew and understood that. But now I see that it was nothing 
more than a cynical ploy to try to convince the American people that 
somehow the Trump administration was really going to be on the side of 
Main Street against Wall Street.
  In fact, one of my first conversations with Secretary-nominee Mr. 
Mnuchin was to ask him whether he in fact supported Glass-Steagall. He 
said to me: No, that was just a campaign promise in our platform. That 
is not what we are going to do.
  That caught me by surprise because I really had hoped that maybe 
President Trump, having been in business, having seen the challenges of 
working with big banks, maybe was really going to be on the side of 
Main Street, was really going to fight to make sure that we protected 
the capital that needed to go into small business, that needed to go 
into investment, that needed to go into new products and manufacturing, 
and protect us from those kinds of Wall Street shenanigans.
  My constituents want to make something in America besides exotic 
financial instruments. They want those dollars to be invested in small 
businesses that are creating products and selling them in a worldwide 
  Mr. Mnuchin, instead, came to the Finance Committee and basically 
said he is not for that version of what was in their party platform. In 
fact, he and the President now support rolling back the minimal law 
that we put on the books, known as the Volcker rule, within Dodd-Frank. 
So, the fact is that not only are they not supporting what we were led 
to believe they did support, but they are now putting someone in the 
position of the chief economic official on these issues, who is saying: 
Let's start rolling back the regulations that already exist.
  So I am very frustrated by that, and I can say just on that point 
alone that I would oppose Mr. Mnuchin's nomination to be Treasury 
Secretary. I think it is time that we have someone who is not like 
putting the fox in the hen house, but is instead there to do the job 
and will protect our investment in the future and hopefully unwind this 
economic problem from the past.
  There are other reasons, though, why I don't support Mr. Mnuchin's 
nomination to Treasury Secretary, and many of my colleagues here this 
morning have already talked about that as related to the economic 
crisis. OneWest Bank, with Mr. Mnuchin as chair, booked billions in 
profits on the backs of foreclosure victims. According to reports, Mr. 
Mnuchin's investors pocketed nearly $4 billion in the time they 
controlled the bank. Mr. Mnuchin reportedly made $100 million when he 
sold OneWest in 2015 for double what he paid the government.
  We saw this in the Northwest, and I can tell you it was a great 
frustration. These profits were booked on the backs of thousands of 
struggling Americans, and we don't know exactly how these people 
suffered because we don't have all the information.
  The victims of OneWest are at least 50,000, including 1,600 in the 
State of Washington. OneWest used ethically troubling and actually 
illegal methods to seize homes from struggling homeowners and not give 
them a fair process.

[[Page S1089]]

  Under their agreement with regulators, they were supposed to modify 
mortgages whenever possible and keep people in their homes. However, 
according to the California attorney general, OneWest engaged in 
``widespread misconduct'' to kick many people out of their homes. Even 
Mr. Mnuchin admitted this. In 2011 he signed a consent order with the 
U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision that found that OneWest had filed or 
caused to be filed potentially false affidavits ``not based on personal 
knowledge or review of relevant books and records.''
  I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record one of these 
actual agreements.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:


       CIT BANK, N.A., Plaintiff, vs. YVONNE C CARR, an 
     individual; MIDLAND FUNDING LLC, a limited liability company; 
     and all other persons, parties, or occupants unknown claiming 
     any legal or equitable right, title, estate, lien, or 
     interest in the real property described in the complaint 
     herein, adverse to Plaintiff's title, or any cloud on 
     Plaintiff's title to the Property.--Defendants.
       Plaintiff alleges as follows:
       1. Plaintiff, CIT BANK, N.A., (``Plaintiff) is a 
     corporation duly authorized to conduct business in the State 
     of Washington.
       2. Defendant YVONNE C CARR, an individual (hereinafter 
     referred to as ``Defendant'') is a resident of King County, 
       3. Defendant MIDLAND FUNDING LLC is a limited liability 
     company doing business in the state of Oregon.
       4. Venue is proper in this action as the Defendant resides 
     in King County and the property that is the subject of this 
     Complaint is located in King County.
       5. Defendant is the record owner of the real property 
     commonly known as: 4916 48TH AVE SOUTH, SEATTLE, WA 98118 
     (``Property'') and legally described as: ATTACHED AS EXHIBIT 
       6. On or about November 9, 2010 the Defendant, for valuable 
     consideration, made, executed, and delivered to EAGLE HOME 
     MORTGAGE LLC (``Eagle Home Mortgage LLC'') a promissory note. 
     A copy of the Note is attached as Exhibit ``2.''
       7. At the same time that the Defendant executed and 
     delivered the Note, and as part of the same transaction, the 
     Defendant, in order to secure payment of the Note, made, 
     executed, and delivered to Eagle Home Mortgage LLC a Deed of 
     Trust encumbering the Property, which is attached hereto and 
     incorporated by reference herein as Exhibit ``3'' (``Deed of 
     Trust''). The Deed of Trust was recorded on November 15, 2010 
     with the King County Auditor under Instrument No. 
       8. Defendant MIDLAND FUNDING LLC, has, or claims to have, 
     some interest in the subject property or some part thereof by 
     reason of a judgment in the amount of $1,353.05. Said 
     judgment was entered by King County Circuit Court on January 
     26, 2015 and relates to case no. 145-16318.
       9. Plaintiff is holder of the Note and assignee of the Deed 
     of Trust.
       10. As of January 29, 2016 the balance due and owing is 
     $230,364.41 plus interest at 5.390% per diem, which continues 
     to accrue until paid. The amount due is comprised of the 

Principal Advances......................................     $167,175.00
Accrued Interest........................................      $53,842.70
Initial MIP.............................................       $4,352.00
Monthly MIP.............................................       $4,994.71
    Grand Total.........................................     $230,364.41

       11. Plaintiff has exercised and does hereby exercise the 
     option granted in the Note and Deed of Trust to declare the 
     whole of the balance of both the principal and interest 
     thereon due and payable, as the property has ceased to be the 
     principal residence of the borrower.
       12. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges 
     that All Other Persons, Parties, or Occupants Unknown 
     Claiming any Legal or Equitable Right, Title, Estate, Lien, 
     or Interest in the Real Property Described in the Complaint 
     Herein, Adverse to Plaintiff's Title, or any Cloud on 
     Plaintiff's Title to the Property are individuals having a 
     subordinate claim or interest in the Property. The interests 
     of said Defendant in the Property shall be eliminated at the 
     time of the foreclosure sale by Plaintiff. As of the date of 
     the filing of this Complaint, the identities of these 
     Defendants are not known. Once the identities of these 
     Defendants are known, these pleadings will be amended to 
     reflect their true names,
       13. No other suit or action has been instituted or is now 
     pending upon said Note or to foreclose the Deed of Trust.
       14. The terms of the Note and Deed of Trust provide that, 
     in the event of any action to collect the same or to 
     foreclose the Deed of Trust, there shall be included in the 
     Judgment a reasonable sum for attorney's fees, together with 
     all expenses incurred in pursuing a default action and 
     including the costs of title evidence.
       15. Plaintiff is entitled to judgment permitting it to bid 
     all or part of its judgment sale.
       16. Plaintiff does not seek a monetary judgment against 
     Defendant MIDLAND FUNDING, LLC. Rather, Plaintiff seeks to 
     foreclose its deed of trust which secures its promissory note 
     against the Property, and extinguish all subordinate 
     interests in the property thereby.
       WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for Judgment against Defendants 
     as follows:
       1. For judgment in the sum of $230,364.41 together with 
     interest from January 29, 2016 at the rate of 5.930% per 
     diem, late charges, and for such other sums advanced under 
     the terms of the Note and Deed of Trust, for taxes, 
     assessments, municipal charges, and other items which may 
     constitute liens on the Property, together with insurance and 
     repairs necessary to prevent impairment of the security, 
     attorney's fees and costs of reasonable and necessary 
     amounts, if this matter is uncontested, or as submitted by 
     counsel, and such other amounts as the Court shall deem 
     reasonable in case this action is contested, together with 
     the costs and disbursements herein;
       2. It be adjudged, in the event of non-payment of the 
     judgment forthwith upon its entry, that the Deed of Trust be 
     declared as valid first lien upon the land and premises 
     described herein; that the Deed of Trust be foreclosed and 
     that the Property covered thereby sold at a foreclosure sale 
     in the manner provided by law, and the proceeds thereof be 
     applied on said judgment and increased interest and such 
     additional amounts as the Plaintiff may advance for taxes, 
     assessments, municipal charges, and such other items as may 
     constitute lien upon the Property, together with insurance 
     and repairs necessary to prevent impairment of the security, 
     together with interest thereon from the date of payment;
       3. By such foreclosure and sale, the rights, claims, 
     ownership, liens, and demands of each of the Defendants and 
     persons claiming by, through or under them subsequent to the 
     execution of the Deed of Trust should be adjudged inferior 
     and subordinate to the Deed of Trust lien and be forever 
     foreclosed, except only for the statutory right of redemption 
     allowed by law and surplus funds allowed by law, if any;
       4. The Plaintiff be permitted to become a bidder and 
     purchaser at the foreclosure sale;
       5. Adjudging that each of the Defendants and all persons 
     claiming under each Defendant, after execution of the Deed of 
     Trust, whether as lien claimant, judgment creditor, claimant 
     under a junior trust deed, purchaser, lien holder, or 
     otherwise be barred and foreclosed from all rights, claims, 
     interests, or equity of redemption in the Property and every 
     part of the Property when the time for redemption has 
       6. For an Order directing the Sheriff, after the time for 
     redemption has elapsed, to execute a deed to the purchaser of 
     the Property at the sale, and directing that any such 
     purchaser be let into possession of the Property upon 
     production of the Sherriff's Deed;
       7. For an Order eliminating such redemption rights should 
     the subject property be found vacant for at least 6 months 
     prior to application for judgment; and
       8. For such other and further relief as the court deems 
     just and proper.
       DATED: February 9, 2016
           Respectfully Submitted,
       MALCOLM  CISNEROS, A Law Corporation.

       Nathan F. Smith, WSBA. #43160, Attorneys for Plaintiff, 
     MALCOLM  CISNEROS, A Law Corporation.


       CIT BANK, N.A., Plaintiff/Petitioner, vs. Yvonne C. Carr, 
     an individual; et al., Defendant/Respondent.
       Cause No. 16-2-03164 1.
       Hearing Date:
       The undersigned hereby declares: That s(he) is now and at 
     all times herein mentioned was a citizen of the United 
     States, over the age of eighteen, not an officer of a 
     plaintiff corporation, not a party to nor interested in the 
     above entitled action, and is competent to be a witness 
       On the 23rd day of February, 2016 at 12:50 PM at the 
     address of 4916 48TH AVE. S., SEATTLE, King County, WA 98116; 
     this declarant served the above described documents upon 
     YVONNE C. CARR by then and there personally delivering 1 true 
     and correct copy(ies) thereof, by then presenting to and 
     leaving the same with YVONNE C. CARR, Who accepted service, 
     with identity confirmed by verbal communication, a black 
     female approx. 55-65 years of age, 5'4''-5'6'' tall, weighing 
     120-140 lbs with brown hair.
       No information was provided or discovered that indicates 
     that the subjects served are members of the United States 
       Service Fee Total: $ 75.00.
       Declarant hereby states under penalty of perjury under the 
     laws of the State of Washington that the statement above is 
     true and correct.
       DATED 2/23/16.
       Joshua Douglas, Reg. # 1418458, King County.

  Ms. CANTWELL. This is an actual foreclosure document from one of my 
constituents. What is most amazing

[[Page S1090]]

about this is that they are basically saying that this property should 
be seized and foreclosed on, saying that there was no one living there. 
But when one actually sees the service of the document, the service of 
the document shows that it was served at an address where somebody 
answered the door and took the document. So even in and of itself, you 
can see how ludicrous this operation was--just going through a robo-
list of names, signing documents, and putting people out of their 
homes, when in reality, they were there living in them and should not 
have been foreclosed on.
  Many of these behaviors have been described by my colleagues, and I 
hope that we get to the bottom of this issue. We heard from victims of 
a foreclosure, where on a 98-year-old woman, being 27 cents short on a 
payment, and another where they changed the locks on her home in 
Minnesota in the middle of a blizzard.
  Is that what we did for Goldman Sachs? I don't think so. I think we 
gave them the keys to the Treasury.
  This behavior, the callousness of this issue, is another reason why I 
cannot support Mr. Mnuchin's nomination for Treasury Secretary.
  Mr. Mnuchin's answers to questions about the administration's tax 
reform plan are another issue. His tax reform policy and that of the 
administration just doesn't add up to me. The nonpartisan analysts who 
have looked at the President's tax reform plan found that it would do 
just the opposite of what Mr. Mnuchin says, and it would actually 
increase the deficit by $7.2 trillion over 10 years.
  I don't think those are economics that I can support, and I don't 
think I can support his nomination.
  I would just say, in concluding, that there are other issues that 
also concern me with this nominee and his responsibility to help us 
solve our economic challenges.
  I did have a chance to talk to Mr. Mnuchin about our pension 
programs. One-third of Americans have zero retirement savings or a 
pension plan--one-third. Those who do are not saving nearly enough and 
the median balance for those nearing retirement is only $14,500. This 
is going to be a crisis for us.
  According to the National Institute on Retirement Security, our 
nation's retirement savings gap is somewhere between $6.8 trillion and 
$14 trillion. That is the gap that we are looking at in the United 
  So, yes, when the Dallas Fed says that bailing out Wall Street and 
the implosion of the Wall Street problems cost our economy $14 
trillion, and that just happens to be the same gap in pensions and 
retirement savings, it makes me furious.
  I want to see a Treasury Secretary who has a plan on how we are going 
to deal with these issues. The Secretary of the Treasury sits on the 
Board of Directors of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. They 
make important decisions as it relates to the multi-employer pension 
plans and the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act. The PBGC currently has 
a deficit of $76 billion.
  These issues are so important, not just to mineworkers but to average 
Americans. When Mr. Mnuchin sat on the board of Sears, he oversaw the 
finances of the company's pension, which was massively underfunded and 
accumulated $8.3 billion in net losses. We cannot afford to let that 
happen to the PBGC.
  If that is not enough, I want a Treasury Secretary who is going to be 
aggressive in protecting the American taxpayer from further cause and 
effects of the crisis in Puerto Rico. I was not a fan of the plan that 
we crafted here in the Congress. Why? Because, again, we gave Wall 
Street all the opportunity and left the taxpayers of the United States 
and Puerto Rico with all the cost. That is going to be a challenge for 
all of us in the future, and I hope that we will have a Treasury 
Secretary who will be aggressive in recouping our losses as taxpayers 
from Wall Street.
  So while I know that people here and on the other side of the aisle 
think their minds are made up, I would just ask them to look at his 
record, to look at what we need to do as a country to move our economy 
forward to recoup from the financial crises, and to say that Mr. 
Mnuchin is not the man to lead us where we need to go. He certainly has 
realized his financial dreams, but we have not heard enough from him 
that makes me convinced he is going to help Americans realize theirs.
  I thank the Presiding Officer, and I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arkansas.