Alexander to Schumer: Why Are You Picking on Tennessee?

Posted on November 15, 2018

*Click here for video of the senator’s remarks.* 

John Ryder of Memphis was nominated by President Trump 282 days ago to be on the TVA’s Board of Directors. He’s been unanimously approved by the Environment and Public Works Committee, and for the last 176 days, he has been waiting on his confirmation. John has bipartisan support, and it’s time that he – who is consistently named one of the finest lawyers in Tennessee – be confirmed.”

WASHINGTON, November 15, 2018 – In a speech on the Senate floor, United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) asked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), “Why are you picking on Tennessee?” after the Democratic leader blocked John Ryder’s nomination to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Board of Directors.

“The country’s largest public utility is the Tennessee Valley Authority, and it serves 9 million customers in a seven-state region – it is enormously important to our state of Tennessee. Its president and CEO, Bill Johnson, announced that he will be leaving,” Alexander said. “John Ryder of Memphis was nominated by President Trump 282 days ago to be on the TVA’s Board of Directors. He’s been unanimously approved by the Environment and Public Works Committee, and for the last 176 days, he has been waiting on his confirmation. John has bipartisan support, and it’s time that he – who is consistently named one of the finest lawyers in Tennessee – be confirmed. In other words, he is a well-qualified, non-controversial nominee who is needed by the people of our region.”

Alexander asked that the Senate confirm Ryder’s nomination, and Schumer objected. Alexander then asked the Democratic minority leader, “Why are you picking on Tennessee?”

“Why block a nominee for the Tennessee Valley Authority who is eminently well-qualified and who is supported by Democratic members of the committee who have jurisdiction, who’s needed on the board to pick a new CEO for the millions of people in the seven-state region? Why are you picking on Tennessee?”

Click here for video of their exchange.

Alexander concluded, “I’m extremely disappointed, and I’m extremely disappointed for John Ryder, who is a prominent lawyer and thought he might get to be on the TVA board and was nominated 282 days ago. I’m disappointed for the people of Tennessee and the TVA region, millions of people who have had a very good CEO for the last several years in Bill Johnson and now need a fully functioning board of directors to pick his successor. Yet, the Democrats say even though we approve of him, even though we’ve got no reason not to confirm him, we’re just going to slow the train down just because we can.”

Click here for Alexander’s full remarks.

 

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