Statement of Senator Dorgan
Nomination of Michael Armstrong
June 4, 1997

I am delighted to be here to support Mike Armstrong. I will not repeat what Senator Conrad has just described to you. I would be depressed if I repeated again that recitation of disasters in North Dakota.

We have suffered terribly through a series of natural disasters, but we have, fortunately, had the help of a lot of wonderful people, and I would echo the sentiments of Senator Conrad, and I think others, that James Lee Witt has turned FEMA into a first-class operation. When FEMA is on the way, people feel good because they know something is going to get done.

I went into a FEMA operations center in Grand Forks a week ago today, and over 100 people are working there. I can tell you that I left there feeling really confident that we have great people doing wonderful things for people who had suffered from these disasters.

Mike Armstrong has been involved in Region VIII, and I have gotten to know him as he has worked in Region VIII, and I'll tell you, he is one of these unusual people in government who comes in and really asks two questions: number one, what do we need to do here; and, number two, how do we get it done?

It is not a case of someone in government trying to figure out where are the barriers, what are the problems going to be as I try to deal with this. It is someone who has a mindset to try to solve problems and solve problems the right way. When I heard that Mr. Armstrong was being nominated for this position, I reflected once again on how good it is for this country that people of Mr. Armstrong's quality are willing to commit themselves to more public service. He is exactly the kind of people we need in public service. He gives people confidence, he solves problems and I am very proud to be here today to say that if we decide to act favorably on the President's nomination, we will have done something good for this country by advancing Michael J. Armstrong to this post at FEMA.