April 26, 2018
“Frankly, I have not heard a single good reason to delay the Senate’s consideration of Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state. Democrats need to stop the games, stop the delays, and allow us to move immediately to a vote on his nomination and get President Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, on the job.”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) spoke on the Senate floor about why it’s critical for the Senate to vote as soon as possible to confirm Mike Pompeo, President Trump’s nominee to be secretary of state.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Earlier today, we heard from the French president who addressed a joint session of Congress.
“He reminded us that the French and American people have always fought side by side to defend our common values.
“France was our original ally, during the American Revolution.
“Americans fought and died in France during World War I and World War II.
“Our alliance has spanned centuries because of diplomats who have cultivated the close relationship that the countries continue with today.
“It’s a shame that we didn’t have a secretary of state of the United States who could have helped us welcome the French president during his visit here.
“We have a nominee eminently qualified – Mike Pompeo – and Republicans are ready to confirm him right now.
“We’re ready for him to get to work maintaining and strengthening relationships around the world.
“Under previous administrations, we could have brought that nomination to the floor of the Senate without needing to waste all of the time on delays on by the Democrats.
“That’s how we used to treat important national security positions like the secretary of state –but no more apparently.
“That’s happened even when senators disagreed with the foreign policies of the administration.
“Republicans and Democrats agreed that the president deserved to have the team that he wanted.
“We all agreed that some of these positions were very important to the national security –so important that in a bipartisan way, we felt playing political games with them was just wrong.
“When Barack Obama became president in 2009, Republicans didn’t obstruct his nomination of Hillary Clinton to be secretary of state.
“She was confirmed by a vote of 94 to 2.
“When President Obama nominated John Kerry for the job in 2013, Republicans didn’t slow down or block that choice either.
“He was confirmed by a vote of 94 to 3.
“Republicans had serious concerns about President Obama’s foreign policy ideas, his strategies, his approach, but we confirmed the people he wanted as secretary of state.
“We did not obstruct these nominations.
“We didn’t try to tarnish the reputations of the people that he’d picked for these important jobs.
“The Senate does have an obligation to carefully evaluate a president’s nominees.
“When those nominees are qualified, and capable, the president has every right to have his team in place quickly.
“That was the standard Republicans applied to these Democrat nominees for secretary of state under a Democrat president.
“So what happened since then? Why has all of this changed since then?
“We now have a Republican president, and a Republican nominee to be secretary of state.
“Senate Democrats have tossed out the way things have always been done before.
“The only interest seems to be obstructing, delaying, resisting anything that Republicans under President Trump are trying to do.
“How does someone justify a vote for these two people to be secretary of state, and turn around and not vote for Mike Pompeo?
“When Mike Pompeo was nominated to be the director of central intelligence agency, 15 senators from the other side of the aisle were willing to set aside partisanship.
“They knew he was qualified for the job.
“Everything he’s done as CIA director has shown that those 15 senators made the right call to support him over a year ago.
“They made the right call to join Republicans, and to respect the traditions of the Senate.
“There’s no reason other than pure partisan politics that any of these Democrats would vote against Mike Pompeo now.
“He is eminently qualified.
“He showed at his confirmation hearing, five hours that he went through questioning, that he’s got the intelligence, he’s got the integrity, and he’s got the experience to serve as our nation’s secretary of state.
“Turn to the newspapers. You have the Washington Post coming out and saying, ‘Confirm Mike Pompeo.
“You have USA Today coming out and saying, ‘Confirm Mike Pompeo.’
“We even have the New York Daily News – the hometown newspaper of the Democrat leader of the Senate – coming out and saying, ‘Confirm Mike Pompeo.’
“Democrats in the Senate don’t seem to care.
“It doesn’t seem like they’re interested in doing the right thing, they’re interested in obstructing and continuing their deliberate delays that we’ve seen with them through this administration.
“They’ve been doing it since the very first day of the Trump administration.
“At this rate, it would take more than nine years to confirm all of President Trump’s nominees for important jobs.
“Why? Democrats can’t offer a single good reason.
“The Senate has been forced to waste huge amounts of time to confirm nominees who aren’t even controversial at all.
“Senate Democrats who try to block the president from filling important national security jobs, they are putting America’s security in danger.
“We all know that the world is a dangerous place, getting more dangerous every day.
“Our adversaries are opportunistic, our adversaries are aggressive.
“Our allies are eager to work with the United States – that’s what the president of France told us today.
“Have Democrats already forgotten the atrocities that we saw in Syria a few weeks ago?
“It was France and Great Britain that joined the United States in launching airstrikes against Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons facilities.
“We need to be able to maintain the relationships that allow this kind of action to occur.
“We need people on the job who can both encourage our allies and deter our enemies.
“Senate Democrats have to decide what’s more important to them: protecting America’s national security, or appeasing the extreme, liberal, far left wing of their party.
“I understand if there are senators who have a principled reason for objecting to this nominee or any nominee. They can vote no.
“If a senator is against a nominee, come to the floor, state the objection, cite the evidence, vote no.
“That’s not what many Democrats here are doing with their obstruction of one nominee after another.
“It’s not what they’ve done with their obstruction of hundreds of o nominees.
“For them, it doesn’t seem to me at least, to be a principled stand – it seems to be a reckless political stunt.
“I listened to my colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee the other evening when we voted on this nomination.
“I’ve listened to Democrats speak on the floor, and speak to the press.
“Frankly, I have not heard a single good reason to delay the Senate’s consideration of Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state.
“Democrats need to stop the games, stop the delays, and allow us to move immediately to a vote on his nomination and get President Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, on the job.”