Nominations to the Amtrak Reform Board
June 8, 2006

Senator CARPER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and to
Senator Burns and your colleagues. Today my oldest son Christopher
came to Washington with family including one of his colleagues
from a high school he just graduated from last week. During
the course of lunch and the time on the Hill, they met a lot
of our Senators who’ve seen my boys grow up over the years
through our Christmas cards and everyone remarked how big he’s
gotten to be, and he’s tall, he’s like 17 years old and he’s taller
than his dad and I think a whole lot smarter, too. They marvel at
how quickly these children grow up—is this the little boy that I remember
that was born when you were in the House of Representatives?
I said, yes he is.

Our children grow up and oftentimes, they make us mighty
proud. Today, I’m privileged to introduce the son of one of our colleagues,
Joe Biden, who’s here today along with his wife, Jill to
support Hunter Biden. Hunter’s joined by his wife and children and
other members of the family.

Hunter Biden is a native Delawarian and I would go on to say
that he’s also been nominated to serve on the Amtrak Board of Directors.
When Hunter was unable to get into the University of
Delaware, he instead went on to Georgetown and then to Yale Law
School and managed to get through those OK. He’s ended up being
Senior Vice President at MBNA one of the largest financial institutions
in the country. He served as Executive Director of Economy
Policy Coordination at the U.S. Department of Commerce. About 5
years ago he went off and formed a law firm here in Washington,
D.C., and now they represent over 100 clients including a bunch of
non-profit organizations and educational institutions.

More specifically, though, and for our purposes and for the purpose
of this nomination, Hunter Biden has spent a lot of time on
Amtrak trains. Like his father, like our Congressman, Mike Castle
and myself, Hunter Biden has lived in Delaware while using Amtrak
to commute to his job as we commute to our job in Washington
almost every day of the week. You know, you learn a lot
about what could work and what would work better at Amtrak by
riding trains and talking to the passengers, the commuters, the
passengers, the folks who work on the trains and make them work
every day. You also have a chance to see the huge economic benefit
the region receives from having a strong passenger rail corridor,
something that should be available in a lot of other parts of our

The second reason I am pleased to see this nomination move forward
is I believe it shows a beginning to move back toward a bipartisan
direction at least with respect to this particular board. The
Amtrak Board has traditionally had both Democratic and Republican members,
but for the past several years, it has been partisan
and it has been incomplete.

Last November, my colleagues recall that 93 members of the
Senate, supported Amtrak reauthorization, legislation introduced
by Senator Lautenberg, co-sponsored by myself, and I know many
Members of this Committee. We saw that Amtrak has strong bipartisan
support. Passenger rail, like highways and airports, is not a
partisan issue and shouldn’t be a partisan issue and it’s a mode of
travel that we believe is gaining popularity in a time when commuters
are being pinched by high gas prices and frustrated with
highway and airport congestion.

Finally, as we confirm a full, bipartisan Board at Amtrak, that
Board will be more able to take on the difficult issues that face
Amtrak, from tackling long-deferred maintenance, modernizing the
system nationwide and addressing demand for new and expanded
service across the country on already stretched freight tracks. A
full bipartisan Board that has been duly confirmed by this Senate
will have the credibility needed to take on these challenges and
move Amtrak and our country into the 21st century. And while we
are tackling these challenges, it will be comforting for the millions
of Amtrak riders and commuters to know that one of their own,
Hunter Biden, will be on the Board of Directors.

And, if I could just say it’s a point of personal privilege, I have
been privileged to have lived in Delaware since 1973, since I got
out of the Navy, and Joe Biden was one of the first people I met
when I arrived there. I’ve known his sons for literally all of their
adult lives. He and Jill have raised two boys and a girl that any
of us would be proud to call our own and I am. It’s deeply a privilege
to sit here today before them and before you to be able to offer
him as our candidate from Delaware to serve on this board. Thank

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, so what we intend to do
is to go through each member and as you’re introduced and we
hear from you, we hope that you will start off by introducing your
parents and family with you, some famous some infamous and
some you don’t want to introduce anyway, but do it, well, do it.
That means that we’re starting with Hunter Biden and Donna
McLean, who have been nominated to the Amtrak Reform Board
and will serve for 5 years if confirmed. It is a controversial subject
of discussion for this Committee, and I’m sure that you’ll have
some questions as we go forward.
Senator Carper has introduced you, Mr. Biden and Senator
Lugar has sent a statement in support of Ms. McLean. I’ve known
you longer than you’ve been alive, Hunter, so if you want to introduce
your family, and I think you can ignore your dad, I think we
know him.
Mr. BIDEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My mother is sitting right
here, Jill Biden, my oldest daughter, Naomi is right here, my
youngest daughter, Maisy, who’s sleeping, or she just woke up, my
wife Kathleen, and in my dad’s lap, my middle daughter, Finnegan
Biden. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. Well, do you have a statement
for us, Mr. Hunter?
Mr. BIDEN. Yes, I do, Mr. Chairman, thank you. Mr. Chairman,
Mr. Co-Chairman, Members of the Committee, I am honored to appear
before you today, and I am honored that President Bush has
nominated me to be a Member of the Amtrak Reform Board. Amtrak
touches so many facets of so many Americans lives, and if confirmed,
I look forward to working with the Members of this Committee
and the Congress to make sure that Amtrak continues to
play that important role to so many people who rely on it daily. I
see this appointment as a great opportunity to help turn around
what can and must be a key component of our transportation system.
What should be one of our success stories; right now it is one
of our biggest challenges.
I believe that my experience in government, at the U.S. Department
of Commerce working for both Secretary Daley and Secretary
Mineta, and in the private sector, in both banking and the law has
prepared me well for this position. At the same time, as a frequent
commuter and Amtrak customer for over 30 years, I have literally
logged thousands of miles on Amtrak. I hope that I can bring my
perspective to the Board as one of the millions of customers who
ride and depend upon Amtrak every day. It has been through my
experience as a customer that I have developed a deep respect for
the organization and its employees, and I know how much they believe
in and are committed to making Amtrak a safe and reliable
service. It is also as a longtime Amtrak customer that I know first
hand some of the many problems Amtrak faces as an organization.
Working together, I believe that Members of the Board, Members
of Congress, the Administration and the employees of Amtrak can
overcome many of the issues intercity rail faces today. If confirmed,
I look forward to being a part of that discussion and look forward
to the challenge. Amtrak is too important to our economy for it not
to be in the best financial health possible. I take the fiduciary responsibility
required by the Members of the Board very seriously,
and believe that above all else that the American people expect
that its national rail system be run as safely, efficiently and costeffectively
as possible.
I also recognize that Amtrak affects, and is affected by, many of
the most important issues of the day. In an era of mounting energy
concerns in which driving a car is getting more and more expensive,
intercity rail must be part of the solution. A healthy national
passenger rail system can provide millions of commuters with a reliable
and hopefully, cost-effective alternative to other forms of
transportation. In addition, I believe that in the 21st Century a robust,
cost efficient national passenger rail system is a necessity,
and that you can not look at the energy and environmental issues
facing our country today without looking at intercity rail and Amtrak
as a part of the solution.
Finally, if confirmed, I particularly look forward to working with
the Members of this Committee and the Congress to ensure that
Amtrak is an integral part of our homeland security strategy. I believe
that it is imperative that Amtrak work closely with Federal
and local law enforcement to make sure that our commuter rail
system is safe from terrorist attack. I hope to have the opportunity
to work with the Members of this Committee and the Congress to
solve some of these challenges facing Amtrak and I want to thank
you for the opportunity to appear before you and I welcome any
questions the Committee may have. Thank you.
[The biographical information of Mr. Biden follows:]

1. Name (Include any former names or nicknames used): Robert Hunter Biden.

2. Position to which nominated: Amtrak Reform Board.

3. Date of Nomination: May 16, 2006.

4. Address (List current place of residence and office addresses):
Information not released to the public.

5. Date and Place of Birth: 02/04/1970; Wilmington, DE.

6. Provide the name, position, and place of employment for your spouse (if married)
and the names and ages of your children (including stepchildren and children
by a previous marriage).
Kathleen Biden, Mother.
Naomi James Biden, Age 12.
Finnegan James Biden, Age 5.
Roberta Mabel Biden, Age 7.

7. List all college and graduate degrees. Provide year and school attended.
Georgetown University, BA, 1992.
Yale Law School, JD, 1996.

8. List all management-level jobs held and any non-managerial jobs that relate
to the position for which you are nominated.
As a Senior Vice President at MBNA America, I worked in several executive management
roles, including managing an investigative unit of the consumer fraud division
and management of all external and internal ‘‘Y2K’’ communications. As Executive
Director of E-Commerce Policy Coordination at the U.S. Department of Commerce,
I was responsible for managing and coordinating the communication and implementation
of Department and Executive Office E-Commerce policy initiatives
within the Office of The Secretary. Finally. since founding a law firm 5 years ago,
I, along with one other partner, have built a firm that now has fifteen employees,
10 partners. and represent over 100 clients.

9. List any advisory, consultative, honorary or other part-time service or positions
with Federal, State, or local governments, other than those listed above, within the
last 5 years: N/A.

10. List all positions held as an officer, director, trustee, partner, proprietor,
agent, representative, or consultant of any corporation, company, firm, partnership,
or other business, enterprise, educational or other institution within the last 5
Oldaker, Biden and Belair, LLP—Partner
The National Group, LLP—Partner
Owasco, P.C.—Proprietor
LBB Holdings U.S.A.—Managing Member
National Prostate Cancer Coalition—Member, Board of Directors

11. Please list each membership you have had during the past 10 years or currently
hold with any civic, social, charitable, educational, political, professional, fraternal,
benevolent or religious organization, private club, or other membership organization.
Include dates of membership and any positions you have held with any organization.
Please note whether any such club or organization restricts membership
on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age or handicap.
Fieldstone Country Club, Wilmington, DE (12/2001–8/2003)
The Club has no restrictive policies.
Yale Club, NY, NY—no restrictions.

12. Have you ever been a candidate for public office? If so, indicate whether any
campaign has any outstanding debt, the amount, and whether you are personally
liable for that debt: No.

13. Itemize all political contributions to any individual, campaign organization,
political party, political action committee, or similar entity of 5500 or more for the
past 10 years.

Political Committee Candidate Date Amount (in $)

Mark Pryor for U.S. Senate Mark Pryor 02/05/02 1,000
Mark Pryor for U.S. Senate Mark Pryor 02/05/02 1,000
Friends of Barbara Boxer Barbara Boxer 06/26/02 1,000
Friends of Barbara Boxer Barbara Boxer 06/26/02 1,000
Ron Kirk for U.S. Senate Ronald Kirk 09/24/02 500
Wofford for Congress Daniel B Wofford 09/24/02 1,000
Jean A Carnahan PAC 10/31/02 1,000
Friends of Barbara Boxer Barbara Boxer 03/31/03 1,000
Friends of Barbara Boxer Barbara Boxer 03/31/03 1,000
Daniel K Inouye for U.S. Senate Daniel Inouye 06/27/03 1,000
TOM PAC 12/01/03 2,500
TOM PAC 12/15/03 1,000
Citizens for Arlen Specter Arlen Specter 01/22/04 1,000
New Leadership for America PAC 02/09/04 1,000
Carnahan in Congress Russ Carnahan 03/29/04 2,000
Chris John for U.S. Senate Chris John 03/30/04 500
Case for Congress Edward Case 06/30/04 500
Jesse Jackson JR for Congress Jessie Jackson Jr. 07/02/04 1,000

Political Committee Candidate Date Amount (in $)
Vermont Victory 2004 Leahy for U.S. Senate 09/20/04 500
Carnahan in Congress Russ Carnahan 11/18/04 1,000
Cantwell 2006 Maria Cantwell 01/28/05 500
Searchlight Leadership Fund 02/17/05 500
Tom Lantos for Congress Tom Lantos 05/05/05 1,000
Friends of Robert C. Byrd Robert Byrd 06/30/05 1,000
Carnahan in Congress Russ Carnahan 06/30/05 2,100
Stabenow for U.S. Senate Debbie Stabenow 09/30/05 1,000
Bob Casey for Pennsylvania Robert Casey 11/08/05 2,100
Ben Cardin for Senate Benjamin Cardin 12/05/05 500
John D. Dingell for Congress John Dingell 12/14/05 500
Harold Ford for Senate Harold Ford 05/17/06 1,000
Sheldon Whitehouse for Senate Sheldon Whitehouse 05/24/06 4,200
Total 34,900

14. List all scholarships, fellowships, honorary degrees, honorary society memberships,
military medals and any other special recognition for outstanding service or
achievements: N/A.

15. Please list each book, article, column, or publication you have authored, individually
or with others, and any speeches that you have given on topics relevant
to the position for which you have been nominated. Do not attach copies of these
publications unless otherwise instructed: N/A.

16. Please identify each instance in which you have testified orally or in writing
before Congress in a non-governmental capacity and specify the subject matter of
each testimony: N/A.

1. Describe all financial arrangements, deferred compensation agreements, and
other continuing dealings with business associates, clients, or customers.
I will remain a partner of Oldaker, Biden and Belair, LLP; remain proprietor of
Owasco, P.C.; remain Managing Member of LBB Holdings USA LLC; and remain
on the Board of Directors of the National Prostate Cancer Coalition. In addition, I
have an agreement of compensation for prior work with the law firm of Krupnick,
Campbell; and will serve as interim CEO of Paradigm Global Advisors (a fund that
invests in hedge funds that LLB holdings is currently looking at acquiring).

2. Do you have any commitments or agreements, formal or informal, to maintain
employment, affiliation or practice with any business, association or other organization
during your appointment? If so, please explain.
I will remain a partner of Oldaker, Biden and Belair, LLP; remain proprietor of
Owasco, P.C.; remain Managing Member of LBB Holdings USA LLC; and remain
on the Board of Directors of the National Prostate Cancer Coalition. In addition, I
have an agreement of compensation for prior work with the law firm of Krupnick,
Campbell; and will serve as interim CEO of Paradigm Global Advisors (a fund that
invests in hedge funds that LLB holdings is currently looking at acquiring).

3. Indicate any investments, obligations, liabilities, or other relationships which
could involve potential conflicts of interest in the position to which you have been
nominated: N/A.

4. Describe any business relationship, dealing, or financial transaction which you
have had during the last 5 years, whether for yourself, on behalf of a client, or acting
as an agent, that could in any way constitute or result in a possible conflict of
interest in the position to which you have been nominated: I know of none.

5. Describe any activity during the past 5 years in which you have been engaged
for the purpose of directly or indirectly influencing the passage, defeat, or modification
of any legislation or affecting the administration and execution of law or public
As a registered lobbyist I have lobbied on behalf of not-for-profit Universities and
Hospitals seeking Federal appropriations dollars.

6. Explain how you will resolve any potential conflict of interest, including any
that may be disclosed by your responses to the above items.
I will notify Amtrak’s General Counsel immediately of any potential conflicts of
interest and find a way to resolve them.

1. Have you ever been disciplined or cited for a breach of ethics by, or been the
subject of a complaint to any court, administrative agency, professional association,
disciplinary committee, or other professional group? No.

2. Have you ever been investigated, arrested, charged, or held by any Federal,
State, or other law enforcement authority of any Federal, State, county, or municipal
entity, other than for a minor traffic offense? If so, please explain.
In June 1988, I was cited for possession of a controlled substance in Stone Harbor,
NJ. There was a pre-trial intervention and the record was expunged.

3. Have you or any business of which you are or were an officer ever been involved
as a party in an administrative agency proceeding or civil litigation? No.

4. Have you ever been convicted (including pleas of guilty or nolo contendere) of
any criminal violation other than a minor traffic offense? No.

5. Please advise the Committee of any additional information, favorable or unfavorable,
which you feel should be disclosed in connection with your nomination:

6. Have you ever been accused, formally or informally, of sexual harassment or
discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion or any other basis? No.

1. Will you ensure that your department/agency complies with deadlines for information
set by Congressional committees? Yes.

2. Will you ensure that your department/agency does whatever it can to protect
Congressional witnesses and whistle blowers from reprisal for their testimony and
disclosures? Yes.

3. Will you cooperate in providing the Committee with requested witnesses, including
technical experts and career employees, with firsthand knowledge of matters
of interest to the Committee? Yes.

4. Are you willing to appear and testify before any duly constituted committee of
the Congress on such occasions as you may be reasonably requested to do so? Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, we appreciate the fact
that you truncated that statement. It will be printed in the record
in full. In that, we’re going to have a period of time for just questions.
We’re going to leave you all as a bank if that’s agreeable. I
want to ask you first, Mr. Biden, I’m sure you know that there’s
a relay of difference of opinion here, even on this Committee and
throughout the Senate and the Congress with regard to the future
of Amtrak. You will be a member of the reform board, which obviously
carries the connotation that Congress and the Administration,
and the American people believe there must be reform. Have
you reviewed the history of Amtrak and are you prepared to take
on the task of real reform?

Mr. BIDEN. Yes, Mr. Chairman, I have reviewed much of the history
of Amtrak and much of the current history and read both the
GAO report and CRS report, Amtrak’s budget for fiscal year 06 and
fiscal year 07 and also have been following the debate very closely.
I agree with you and I think, would most everyone, that Amtrak
is in need of reform. I think that it is also in need of leadership
from a fully complimented board and if confirmed, the way that I
see my role is basically to keep an open mind and try to seek common
solutions that we can agree on between the Members of the
Board, Congress, and the employees of Amtrak.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, mention’s already been made of the obvious
fact that the alternative means of transportation are much more
expensive already than the transportation on Amtrak. There has
been a reluctance for the Amtrak Board to adjust the rate for fear
that they might lose riders if the rates went too high. For one, I’ve
lived in this area a very long time, I realize the rate necessity for
Amtrak, but it does seem that the past management has been insensitive
to the problem of a permanent plan for financing of Amtrak.
So, I encourage you to look into that, and congratulate you
for being willing to try. I’ve got to tell you, it’s almost an impossible
task the way I see it. So, thank you for being willing to try.

Mr. BIDEN. Thank you very much.


Question 1.
Mr. Biden, you come highly recommended based on your past experiences.
You have an opportunity to step in, be creative, and really help our Nation’s
passenger rail system. You know this is not an easy job and are well prepared to
face the challenges ahead. How you will approach the problems facing Amtrak, from
the lack of funding to the need to make major investments and reduce costs?
Answer. If confirmed, I believe that the primary challenge for Amtrak is maintaining
a comprehensive national rail system that is safe, efficient and cost-effective.
I will do everything in my power to make sure that Amtrak is able to do that with
the funds available to it.

Question 2. This Committee has worked hard on a reauthorization plan for Amtrak,
favorably reporting S. 1516, sponsored by Senators Lott and Lautenberg, Stevens,
Hutchison and myself last year. Are you familiar with this proposal and do
you have comments regarding it?
Answer. I am familiar with it and I commend you and the other sponsors for authoring
a piece of legislation which goes a long way toward solving many of the
problems faced by Amtrak. I look forward to working with Members of this Committee
and Congress to make sure that Amtrak does many of the things called for
in this legislation.

Question 3. What do you believe the Federal Government’s role should be in the
financing of Amtrak’s capital and operating needs? What role should the states and
the private sector have?
Answer. Amtrak benefits many different stakeholders throughout our Nation. As
such, I believe that Amtrak should be a true public sector/private sector partnership
and that the Federal Government, state governments and the private sector should
all share some of the burden required to make a safe, efficient and cost-effective national
rail system a reality. In an era of rising energy costs, there is no question
that the public and private sectors should do all they can do to make sure our rail
system is as healthy as it can be.

Question 4. Do you support Amtrak’s operation of a comprehensive national system
or do you believe Amtrak should focus on developing short distance corridors
that connect city pairs in densely populated regions? Or should Amtrak continue to
develop both?
Answer. Amtrak should continue to do both. Amtrak must be a comprehensive national
system, but at the same time needs to look at developing short distance corridors
that connect city pairs in densely populated regions to maximize revenue.
There is no question that Amtrak can do both and it must. If confirmed, I look forward
to working with this Committee and with Congress to make this a reality.

Question 5. One of the immediate issues facing Amtrak is appropriations for the coming year. Amtrak requested
approximately $1.6 billion in capital and operating
funds for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007. The Administration requested only $900 million,
which former Amtrak President David Gunn consistently stated was a shutdown
number when the Administration proposed such funding levels in previous years.
If history is a guide, Amtrak will probably not get the $1.6 billion it says it needs.
As an Amtrak Board member, where will you recommend Amtrak should focus its
limited funds next year?
Answer. If confirmed, I am willing to consider any option to make sure Amtrak
operates at full capacity with the limited funds it receives. I know that there are
a number of intriguing and creative cost-cutting measures that Amtrak is looking
at and I believe a number of them can be implemented to make sure that Amtrak
continues to operate safely and efficiently. Should Amtrak be forced to cut services
due to budget cuts, my first priority will always be to the passengers and to making
sure that they still receive the best service possible and that it is provided in a manner
that doesn’t sacrifice their safety.


The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, we’ll now turn to you Ms.
McLean, Senator Lugar has, as I said has sent his statement here,
he’s involved in another briefing right now and I’ll read it for the
information for those who are here.
He indicates he is pleased to have the opportunity to introduce
you to this Committee and states that you’ve had many years of
experience in Federal Government, specifically working at Transportation
Policy. After receiving your Bachelor’s and Master’s degree
from Indiana University School of Public and Environmental
Affairs, you joined the U.S. Department of Transportation as a Program
Analyst, you’ve built your background in transportation to become
a Budget Examiner on transportation issues at the Office of
Management Budget. From 1993 to 1999, you served as a staffer
on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and
after 2001 you’ve been nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary
for Budget Programs and Chief Financial Officer for the U.S. Department
of Transportation.
You served also, as the Program Manager and lecturer for the Indiana
University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs,
Washington Leadership Program and you served as a teacher and
mentored several students who interned in Senator Lugar’s office
and on the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations staff. I’m told
that you’re joined today by your husband and two daughters, would
we please have you introduce them.

Ms. MCLEAN. Thank you, yes. I’m here with my husband, Marcus
Peacock and my two daughters, May and Iona, who are nine, and
my sister, Robin, Miles McLean and my niece Hailey.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, we’ll print this representation
of Senator Lugar on the record before, instead of what I said,
but was pleased to hear from you.

Ms. MCLEAN. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of
the Committee. It’s an honor for me to appear before you today and
to have been nominated by President Bush to serve on the Amtrak
Reform Board. If confirmed, I look forward to working closely with
this Committee on Amtrak issues.
All of my career, including 15 years of Federal service, I have focused
on transportation policy. Over these years, we have all seen
transportation, our transportation systems become more and more
congested. More recently, we’ve seen a significant leap in oil prices.
It’s unclear how the increasing transportation congestion, along
with the increase in fuel prices will reshape our transportation system.

However, these dynamics mean that the viability of our inter-city
passenger rail system is more important than ever. If confirmed, I
look forward to helping Amtrak better position itself to play an improved
role in our transportation network. Amtrak, the business,
has made some significant strides over the past several years. Amtrak
is now following generally-accepted accounting principles, Amtrak
is investing more in its capital needs, Amtrak is focused on
improving on-time performance, and Amtrak’s ridership is growing.
Amtrak is working daily to improve its service.
If confirmed, I pledge to work closely with this committee, to
strive for a more effective and efficient Amtrak. Thank you again
for asking me to appear before you today, and I will be happy to
answer any questions you might have.