Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor on why he believes Mike Pompeo will make an excellent secretary of state.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“We continue to see reminders that the world is a very dangerous place.
“The horrendous reports out of Syria over the weekend show us that there are leaders in the world who will test the rules that define civilized nations.
“They will exploit any crack that they see in our resolve.
“President Trump has consistently responded to these kinds of challenges by showing that he is resolute and he is unshakeable.
“He has a foreign policy that always puts America first.
“To continue to do this, the president needs to have a full national security team on the job and working for America.
“The secretary of state is a very important part of that team.
“Tomorrow, the Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow to have a hearing on Mike Pompeo’s nomination to do this very important job.
“Mike Pompeo understands that if we want safety and security at home, we need a world that is peaceful and stable.
“I expect he’s going to talk about all of these things at the confirmation hearing – and I look forward to his testimony.
“We’ve all heard about Mike Pompeo’s impressive qualifications for the job to which he’s been nominated.
“First in his class at West Point; Harvard law school; member of Congress; and director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
“He’s got the intelligence, he’s got the integrity, and he’s got the experience to serve as America’s secretary of state.
“As a former member of Congress, he certainly understands how policy decisions get made – and the key importance of congressional oversight.
“As head of the CIA, he clearly understands the crucial role that the intelligence community plays in preserving America’s national security.
“As a soldier, he understands the consequences of decisions that get made in Washington, DC.
“I’ve traveled with Mike Pompeo to meet world leaders, national security conferences.
“He knows the issues, he knows the people, and he is the right person for this job.
“I met with him just last month after he was nominated.
“We talked about some of the specific issues. The issues going on around the world, and how they affect our nation’s national security.
“We had a very good conversation, I am extremely confident that he is the right person for this job.
“I expect that a lot more people will come away from these hearings tomorrow with great confidence in Mike Pompeo.
“He will be an excellent representative for our country, and he’ll be a strong hand to implement President Trump’s foreign policy.
“I look forward to voting on this nomination as soon as possible after the hearings.
“It was just a little over a year ago that he was confirmed by a very large, bipartisan majority for his current job as CIA director.
“Fifteen Senators from the other side of the aisle agreed, Mike Pompeo was the right choice for that position.
“As a nominee for the job he now holds, he drew bipartisan praise for his qualifications.
“Two Democratic senators actually came to the floor and spoke in favor of his nomination – Senator Feinstein and Senator Warner.
“They’re the current vice chair of the Intelligence Committee, and the former chair of the Intelligence Committee.
“Since that time, Mike Pompeo has done an excellent job at the CIA.
“Even Hillary Clinton has come out and praised his time heading that agency.
“So I expect that this can be a short process to confirm him in the new job for which he’s been nominated, as secretary of state.
“There’s certainly no good reason for Democrats to to slow things down or attempt to slow things down.
“We need to restore America to the position we once held as the most powerful and respected nation on the face of the earth.
“For eight years, the previous administration had us going in the wrong direction.
“The Obama administration followed a policy that they called ‘strategic patience.’
“That meant watching while the Assad regime in Syria crossed one red line after another. And the red line became a green light.
“The result was that Syria continues to use chemical weapons today in attacking its own people.
“Strategic patience did not work.
“The Obama administration’s policy also meant that North Korea was allowed to get away with too much, for far too long.
“North Korea continued to test nuclear weapons. It continued to test missiles. It continued to use hostages as a way of getting what it wants from other countries.
“Strategic patience did not work in North Korea.
“The Trump administration has said very clearly that ‘the era of strategic patience is over.’
“The leaders of these countries need to understand that their belligerence will not succeed.
“They need to get a clear message that America has a new foreign policy.
“It is a policy to secure America’s national interests, and demonstrate America’s leadership around the world.
“Part of this leadership is standing up to show that there is a limit to the patience of the civilized countries of the world.
“The previous administration too often placed international opinion ahead of what was actually best for America.
“That only made the world a more dangerous place.
“The Trump administration has begun to get us back on the right track. Mike Pompeo will ensure that we stay on the right track.
“When it comes to issues like the upcoming discussions with North Korea, Mike Pompeo understands the risks of dealing with these kinds of aggressive adversaries.
“He also understands the opportunities that we have now because of President Trump’s forceful stand for American interests.
“Democrats should commit to allowing this nomination to move as quickly as possible.
“Tomorrow we’ll have a hearing.
“We need a thorough discussion about what’s happening around the world. And then we need to vote.
“Let’s not have any more of the deliberate delays that we’ve been seeing by the Democrats in this body.
“No more pointless and partisan obstruction.
“America’s adversaries around the world are watching closely – in Russia, in Syria, in North Korea, in Iran, and in other places.
“It is time for us to show that we are serious about maintaining a strong foreign policy that puts America first.
“President Trump is doing his part. Mike Pompeo is ready to do his part and his job.
“It is now time for the Senate to do our job.”