Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Advancing The Nomination Of Alvaro Bedoya To The Federal Trade Commission

March 30, 2022

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the need to continue confirming more of President Biden’s qualified nominees. Today, the Senate will vote to proceed on the nomination of Alvaro Bedoya, tapped by President Biden to be a Federal Trade Commissioner. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Today is going to be a very busy day on the Senate floor as we continue advancing even more of President Biden’s well-qualified nominees.

Later this morning, we hold an especially important vote to proceed on the nomination of Alvaro Bedoya, tapped by President Biden to sit as a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC right now is one of the best agencies for protecting Americans from price gougers, manipulators, and those trying rip off American consumers, or at least it would be if it had full membership.

Instead, the FTC has remained deadlock for just about the entirety of the Biden Administration because of Republican obstruction—and the consequences for American consumers have cascaded one after the other.

We all know that prices have been going way up and hurting a lot of Americans. There are serious reasons to fear a lot is due to some gouging and manipulations. The FTC is about the best agency to look for this, but as long as its membership is deadlocked, it cannot act.

This is especially urgent when it comes to energy prices. Americans are seeing higher prices at the pump despite massive profits for oil companies, so we need a fully-operational FTC to investigate and take action if warranted.

That is why moving forward on Mr. Bedoya is so urgently needed.

And frankly, the obstruction over Mr. Bedoya is truly unacceptable given the FTC is so important for fighting potential price manipulations. Republicans know this, yet his nomination has been deadlocked not once but twice at the committee level.

For all the howling our Republicans friends are doing about rising costs, they are truly content with dragging their feet on public servants who could actually help look into the problem, so shame on those who are blocking for that.  

Without Mr. Bedoya, the FTC and its members are left handicapped and incapable of moving forward. So today’s motion to discharge is a matter of immense importance, and I hope all my colleagues who care about fighting inflation and price manipulation and collusion vote to proceed with Mr. Bedoya’s nomination.

And one other point I wanted to make. I read that stock buybacks by the oil companies have dramatically increased this year. Why is that money going into stock buybacks instead of into other much more productive uses? That's another thing the FTC could take a look at.

Now, as the day progresses I also want my colleagues to realize the possibility of additional votes later today. On Monday, I filed cloture on five individuals to fill other important rolls across the administration. Today we will move on the first of these nominees but we are working to move forward with the rest as soon as we can.