WASHINGTON—Gene Dodaro, the nominee to be United States Comptroller General  who has served  as acting Comptroller General for the past two years, testified Thursday before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, led by Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me.

            Lieberman and Collins were members of a 10-member bipartisan bicameral commission charged with recommending a Comptroller General to the White House; each endorsed Dodaro for the job.

            “With his command of the issues and knowledge of GAO, Mr. Dodaro is the perfect person for this position,” Lieberman said.  “It would be an understatement to say he is not a newcomer to public service, or GAO, having joined the agency right out of college and serving as its Acting Comptroller General for the past two and a half years.  Congress relies heavily on GAO’s expertise and we are grateful for his non-partisan leadership at the agency.  I wholeheartedly support Mr. Dodaro’s nomination and I expect my colleagues will do the same.”

            Collins said:  “Our nation desperately needs aggressive and independent oversight of the federal government.  We live in an era of historic deficits, crippling unemployment, and smaller budgets.  As the government tightens its belt, the GAO, which has been labeled ‘the American taxpayers’ best friend,’ must remain an unabashed advocate for the public and a protective steward of federal resources. As the recent elections made clear, the public is no longer willing to accept the status quo.  Americans want realistic solutions to problems and dependable leadership.  As a new Congress begins in January 2011 and we look for ways to make our government more effective and accountable, the GAO and its next Comptroller General will play a critical role.”

            Dodaro’s nomination must be approved by the Committee before it moves to the full Senate for confirmation.  Lieberman said at the hearing he hopes to complete that process before the end of the year.