Remarks at the Swearing-in Ceremony for Nicholas F. Brady as Secretary of the Treasury
The President. Well, let me begin by
welcoming all of you here today, with a special welcome for Nick, Kitty, and
the Brady family. It's a happy occasion for me to be welcoming Nick Brady into
the Cabinet as
In an investment banking career that has spanned three decades, Nick Brady has earned the respect of the financial and economic communities for his integrity and professional accomplishment. As a Member of the United States Senate, he won the respect and friendship of his colleagues. And he received national recognition for his work investigating the events in the financial markets of last October, leading the task force that came to bear his name. Now this, in fact, is the sixth time he has answered my call, and he has distinguished himself each time.
Brady will be chief economic spokesman for the administration, and I will be
relying on him to continue our policies that have proved so successful. Just
this week, excellent new trade numbers came out, showing a continued decline in
the Nation's trade deficit, giving us the lowest trade deficit since 1984.
last January when I went before the Congress to deliver the State of the
And that must include defense legislation that maintains what Franklin Roosevelt rightly called the ``great arsenal of democracy.'' When it comes to our own security and the cause of freedom, we cannot accept naive, liberal notions that fail to keep faith with the American people and their dedication to peace through strength.
And now, even though the new fiscal year is just 2 weeks away, a number of appropriations bills are still being haggled over in conference committees. And another round of budget legislation is no way to control spending and fight the deficit. So, I hope Congress will watch my lips here: I want 13 separate bills, and if it makes it any easier, Congress can just think of it as a baker's dozen. [Laughter] And unless they pull that baker's dozen out of the oven by October 1st, well, they will have cooked their own goose, because the American people will see those spending bills are behind the budget deficit.
Nick, I'm delighted to turn over the keys to the Treasury Department to you.
Don't lose them. Alexander Hamilton gave them to me personally. [Laughter] But
I think you are a most worthy successor to
Secretary Brady. Mr. President, I am honored that you would ask me to be Secretary of the Treasury to follow in Jim Baker's big footsteps. I come from 30 years in the banking business. And although in today's fast-moving world you don't hear the term anymore, I was always taught that the best loan you could make was a character loan, one that looked beyond the hard numbers and took a leap of faith and counted on the character and strength of the individual involved.
principle applies to countries as well. And as you have shown the world, this
principle is doubly true where the
The Treasury Department will do its homework, do the pick-and-shovel work to make sure the numbers are right. But we will always be guided by your faith that character is at the root of all human endeavor. Thank you.
Note: The President spoke at in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. In his opening remarks, he referred to Secretary Brady's wife, Katherine.