EXECUTIVE SESSION; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 68
(Senate - April 26, 2018)

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[Pages S2448-S2460]
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                           EXECUTIVE SESSION


                           EXECUTIVE CALENDAR

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the following 
nomination, which the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read the nomination of Mike Pompeo, of Kansas, 
to be Secretary of State.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the time until 12 
noon will be equally divided between the two leaders or their 
  The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be permitted 
to complete my remarks on the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          Confirmation Process

  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, there is no excuse for the delays in the 
confirmation process except sheer partisanship. It amounts to an 
ongoing partial government shutdown, and it definitely hurts the 
American people. Such obstruction is not worthy of the Senate, and the 
resulting judicial vacancies do great harm to the judicial system.
  These are not my words but the words of the Senator from Vermont, Mr. 
Leahy, when he chaired the Judiciary Committee in 2014. Judicial 
vacancies today are 60 percent higher than when he expressed those 
concerns back then. Vacancies are 52 percent higher than what he said 
was a ``disaster for our Nation's overburdened courts.''
  The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts labels some judicial 
vacancies as judicial emergencies because of their duration and impact 
on caseloads. On March 12, 2012, the Senator from Illinois, Mr. Durbin, 
said that 35 judicial emergency vacancies would cause the 
administration of justice to suffer at every level. Today, there are 72 
judicial emergency vacancies, more than twice as many as Senator Durbin 
warned about.
  To be fair, I have to say that the leftwing groups that are such 
faithful allies of Senate Democrats are no better. In July 2012, for 
example, the Alliance for Justice proclaimed that 76 vacancies 
demonstrated ``an overall and ongoing vacancy crisis in the federal 
courts.'' Today, vacancies are 88 percent higher than the crisis level, 
and all we hear from the Alliance for Justice are calls to oppose and 
obstruct even more. Judicial vacancies today are 74 percent higher than 
when the Brennan Center for Justice said the Senate was not meeting its 
obligation to the American people.

  If high judicial vacancies harm the judicial system and prevent 
Americans from seeking justice, why aren't Democrats and their leftwing 
allies leading the effort to confirm judicial nominees today? If 
Democrats once said that 79 vacancies constitutes a crisis, why are 
they silent about 143 vacancies today?
  Today we face the highest judicial vacancy total since June of 1991, 
after Congress had created dozens of new judgeships. It is crystal 
clear why this dire situation confronts us today. The process for 
appointing Federal judges, after all, has only three steps: nomination 
by the President, consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 
a decision by the full Senate.
  The first step in the judicial appointment process is Presidential 
nominations. President Trump has made more judicial nominations than 
his predecessors of both parties at this point, so he is not the 
problem--as you can see from that chart.
  The second step is consideration by the Judiciary Committee. Chairman 
Chuck Grassley has held a hearing on 75 of those nominations--more than 
under previous Presidents, so the Judiciary Committee is not the 
  That leaves the third step right here on the Senate floor. Even 
though President Trump is ahead of the nomination

[[Page S2449]]

pace, and the Judiciary Committee is ahead of the hearing pace, the 
Senate's confirmation pace is half what it was at this point for the 
past five Presidents.
  March 20, I spoke here about some of the below-the-radar obstruction 
tactics Democrats are using to make this part of the process as time-
consuming and cumbersome as possible. Let me offer a brief review. 
Democrats once complained about U.S. district court nominees being 
reported from the Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote. That is 
happening at a rate of more than four times as great today.
  Democrats once criticized the failure to cooperate in scheduling 
floor votes for judicial nominees. So far, Democrats have forced the 
Senate to take separate votes to end debate, called a cloture vote, on 
96 percent--96 percent--of President Trump's judicial nominees. The 
Senate has been forced to take 16 times as many cloture votes on 
President Trump's judicial nominees as under the last 12 Presidents 
combined at this point. You heard me right. The Senate has been forced 
to take 16 times as many cloture votes on judicial nominees as under 
the last 12 Presidents combined at this point. That is every President 
since the cloture rule was first applied to nominations in 1949.
  In 2014, with a Democratic President, Democrats said that every time 
the minority refuses to cooperate in scheduling confirmation votes, 
every time the majority leader is forced to initiate the cloture 
process, the Senate is forced to take up scarce floor time, when we 
know these nominees will be confirmed. Today, Democrats are using that 
and other tactics on a scale this body has never seen before.
  Democrats once objected to voting against confirming U.S. district 
court nominees who were supported by their own two Senators. At this 
point, President Obama's confirmed district court nominees had received 
a total of zero negative votes--zero. President Trump's district court 
nominees have received 73 negative votes--73. Think about that. Think 
about the unfairness of it.
  Each of these, and more besides, is a tactic that Democrats once 
condemned but are today pushing to record levels of obstruction. Even 
more important than seeing where we are and how we got here is 
understanding why the Democrats and their leftwing allies are working 
so hard to prevent President Trump from appointing judges.
  I have served in this body and on the Judiciary Committee for nearly 
42 years. I have participated in the confirmation of half of all 
article III judges who have ever served in this country, from the 
beginning. In all that time, the conflict over judicial appointments 
has never been over judicial nominees; it has always been over judicial 
power. The vacancy crisis we face today is a consequence of the 
broader, ongoing conflict over the kind of judge America needs on the 
  America's Founders gave us a system of government that includes a 
judiciary with a role defined by three important principles. First, as 
Founder James Wilson put it, the people are masters of the government. 
Second, the Constitution is the primary way that the people set rules 
for government. Third, among those rules is the separation of powers 
into three coequal but different branches.
  Judges acting consistent with these principles, what I have called 
impartial judges, fit the design of our system of government and the 
liberty it makes possible. Judges who depart from those principles, 
what I have called political judges, are at odds with that design and 
undermine our liberty. President Trump is committed to appointing 
impartial judges, while those working so hard to obstruct his his 
nominees favor political judges.
  President Obama led the way in the quest for a political judiciary. 
First, as a Senator evaluating judicial nominees and then as a 
President choosing them, he said judges decide cases based on their 
empathy, their vision of how the world works, their core concerns, and 
their deeply held beliefs. If judges make decisions on their personal 
views, then it is no wonder the Democrats want so badly to know a 
judicial nominee's personal views.
  I will never forget the confirmation hearing for Chief Justice John 
Roberts in 2005. Democrats pressed him to commit, in advance and under 
oath, to particular results in different categories of cases. They 
asked repeatedly: Whose side will you be on? Political judges take 
sides, even before cases come before them, because their main objective 
is to ensure that the favored side wins and that the preferred 
political interest is served.
  We see this in plain view today. Democrats observe a judicial 
nominee's personal views, or his legal views on behalf of a client, and 
insist that those views will dictate his judicial views. This is why 
many Democrats will oppose any nominee who has conservative personal 
beliefs or who has advocated for conservative clients. To them, there 
is no difference between politics and law.
  Democrats oppose judicial nominees because of their personal views, 
even when the American Bar Association--which has never been accused of 
being conservative--gives those nominees its highest rating. The 
appeals court nominee confirmed this week, for example, received that 
rating only after the ABA considered, in its words, his ``compassion, 
decisiveness, open-mindedness, courtesy, patience, freedom from bias, 
and commitment to equal justice under the law.''
  In their heart of hearts, those who favor political judges have no 
problem with judicial minds being closed or biased so long as that 
leads to results they like. They seek politically correct results by 
any judicial means.
  That judiciary is very different from the one contemplated by the 
Founders of this great country. That judiciary is very different from 
the one described by the oath of judicial office, by which a judge 
commits to do justice without respect to identities or interests. That 
judiciary is very different from the one that makes our liberty 
  The liberty we enjoy is by design, not by accident. That design 
requires judges with a limited and defined role. Impartial judges 
support the liberty our system of government was designed to provide 
while political judges undermine it. Impartial judges take the law as 
it is and apply it fairly to decide cases, leaving decisions about what 
the law should be to the American people and their elected 
representatives. Political judges take decisions about what the law 
should be away from the American people, manipulating the meaning of 
statutes and the Constitution to follow their own views and their own 
  The conflict over judicial appointments is, and will remain, a 
conflict over judicial power and, therefore, a conflict over the system 
of government crafted by America's Founders. Remember the three 
principles I mentioned earlier. Impartial judges allow the American 
people to remain the masters of government; political judges become the 
masters of the people. Impartial judges follow the rules the American 
people put in the Constitution; political judges change the meaning of 
those rules to suit their own ends. Impartial judges respect the 
separation of powers while political judges breach it.
  The unprecedented obstruction of judicial nominees today is a tool in 
the campaign for an increasingly politicized judiciary. The rhetoric of 
that campaign is all about desirable objectives, all about good 
intentions. I close with the words of Daniel Webster, who represented 
two different States in the House and represented Massachusetts in the 
Senate before serving as Secretary of State under three different 
precedents. He said:

       Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption 
     of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the 
     Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers 
     of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to 
     govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good 
     masters, but they mean to be masters.

  That is Daniel Webster. Let me repeat that again because Webster is 
one of the greatest people who ever served in this government.

       Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption 
     of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the 
     Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers 
     of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to 
     govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good 
     masters, but they mean to be masters.

  America needs impartial judges so that the American people can be the 
masters of government and so that liberty can thrive.
  Let me go over that quote again from Daniel Webster. I will end with 

[[Page S2450]]

  Daniel Webster said:

       Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption 
     of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the 
     Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers 
     of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to 
     govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good 
     masters, but they mean to be masters.

  Some of those Founding Fathers really knew what they were talking 
about, and Webster was certainly one of them in many respects.
  All I can say is that we have a chance to work together to do what is 
right and in the best interest of the American people. I intend to see 
that we do that, and I hope we can because this country is worth it. 
Our system of government is the best this world has ever seen, and I 
want to see it continue to be.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Hyde-Smith). The clerk will call the 
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. HATCH. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  If no one yields time, the time will be charged equally.

                   Recognition of the Minority Leader

  The Democratic leader is recognized.

                      Special Counsel Legislation

  Mr. SCHUMER. Madam President, I watched the President on TV this 
morning, and like most Americans, so many Americans, I was aghast. The 
President seems to live in an alternative reality. He says things that 
are patently false, and he thinks that just by saying them, they become 
true. With the number of 180-degree turns--direct contradictions to 
what he has said before--the name-calling, and blaming, if you watched 
the President this morning and the way he acted, it was so unbecoming 
of a President, unbecoming of a democracy.
  We believe in truth. People may have different value systems, but to 
just make up things as he goes along and to, without blinking an eye, 
contradict things that he said that were exactly the opposite a few 
hours, a few days, a few weeks ago is not who any President of any 
party of any ideology should be.
  What the President said this morning was embarrassing to America, to 
democracy, and to any American who prizes truth.
  One of the things the President said this morning was that he has 
decided not to be involved in the Russia probe but may change his mind. 
That is why it is so good this morning that the Judiciary Committee is 
marking up bipartisan legislation that will protect Special Counsel 
Mueller from political interference.
  From the very beginning, Special Counsel Mueller's investigation has 
been about following the facts of how a foreign, hostile power 
interfered with our free and fair elections--the wellspring of our 
democracy. That investigation must be allowed to proceed safely from 
the President's heavy hand. The President can't make this go away by 
name-calling. He can't dispute facts. He can't dispute the fact that 
Russia's interfering in our election is very dangerous and must be 
investigated no matter where it leads.
  It is so abundantly clear from the President's remarks this morning 
and from so many other things he has said that he has little regard for 
the rule of law. He seems to have this view that the purpose of the 
Justice Department is to protect his interests and persecute his 
enemies. That is not a democracy. The purpose of the Justice Department 
is to defend the rule of law, and no man or woman is above the law. It 
is not, simply, to go after his friends. He is angry when the Justice 
Department does something he doesn't like even though it is following 
the law. Again, that is not the hallmark of our democracy.
  I am so proud of our Judiciary Committee and Chairman Grassley in 
their rising to the occasion--proposing and hopefully passing 
legislation that says we will protect the rule of law and that we will 
protect our democracy by not allowing the President to fire the special 
counsel at will because he simply doesn't like the results he comes up 
  Again, the Judiciary Committee, this morning, makes us proud. It 
rises to the occasion to tell the President that he cannot tamper with 
the very wellsprings of our democracy and that he will pay a bipartisan 
price if he does.
  I particularly praise Chairman Grassley. We have worked together on 
many things, and we have had our differences on many things, but this 
morning he is rising to the occasion. History regards such moments very 
favorably. I hope we will get a large vote this morning.

                         Appropriations Process

  Madam President, while we are speaking about bipartisanship, there is 
another bit of good news. There are two shoots of bipartisanship 
springing up today--the Judiciary Committee's action on preventing the 
President from firing Mueller and an agreement between Senator Shelby, 
Leader McConnell, and me to try to begin moving appropriations bills 
the way we used to--in a bipartisan way.
  We had a very good meeting yesterday in which we laid out the 
parameters of how to do this. We talked about not letting extraneous 
amendments disrupt the process. We talked about doing our job the way 
it used to be done--doing all of the appropriations bills this year and 
doing them in a bipartisan way, having the chairs and ranking members 
of the subcommittees work together to craft a bill that both sides can 
be happy with even though neither side will be happy with everything in 
  I hope that it moves forward. I pledge to the Members of this body 
and to the American people that I am committed to making that process 
move forward in a fair, bipartisan way and to trying to restore some of 
the semblance of bipartisanship that we used to have in this place and 
bring it back to actual action and reality, not just verbiage.

                        VA Secretary Nomination

  Madam President, we just received word that the President's nominee 
to be the next Secretary of the VA has withdrawn his nomination. The 
allegations swirling around the nomination of Dr. Jackson were 
troubling and raised lots of questions, but the real blame here falls 
on the administration for once again being sloppy and careless in the 
vetting process. Dr. Jackson didn't go through a careful vetting. Some 
of these things might have been discovered beforehand, and he wouldn't 
have had to go through the process he went through.
  The Veterans' Affairs Committee did the right thing. They didn't seek 
to go after Jackson; people came to them. When people come to them--
particularly military folks--with serious and troubling allegations, 
they have an obligation to investigate. I salute Chairman Isakson and 
Ranking Member Tester for pursuing those allegations.
  Dr. Jackson went through a maelstrom, and he should tell his patient, 
I guess, the President, that he, the President, caused this problem by 
not properly vetting, by making these decisions on the fly, by making 
sure they don't count.
  Our obligation above all is not to any one individual but to the 
millions of veterans in America. They deserve a department that treats 
them well. They deserve the best healthcare, and we need someone to run 
the VA who is up to the job.
  I hope the President learns his lesson. I hope the next nominee is 
thoroughly vetted before he or she is sent to the Congress. Most of 
all, I hope our veterans can get the kind of leader they deserve.


  Madam President, finally, on another matter--healthcare--next week, 
health insurance companies will begin to announce their initial 
proposed rates for 2019 in each State across the country. When they do, 
every American should remember that President Trump and congressional 
Republicans have spent the last 1\1/2\ years trying to sabotage our 
healthcare system in a way that would increase costs and decrease 
access to quality healthcare.
  It is true that last summer the Senate Republican effort to repeal 
our current healthcare system and gut Medicaid--an effort that would 
have left tens of millions uninsured and raised costs on millions 
more--ended, thankfully for the American people, in failure.
  Despite that legislative failure, President Trump, his 
administration, and congressional Republicans have

[[Page S2451]]

committed several other acts of sabotage--raising premiums and hurting 
healthcare--all, it seems to me, for a political vendetta.
  For a long time, the President refused to guarantee that the 
administration will honor the cost-sharing program, which reduces 
premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for low-income Americans. He 
eventually canceled payments for that program, causing major 
uncertainty and confusion in the markets.
  Then, Republicans repealed the healthcare coverage requirement as a 
part of their tax bill and put nothing in its place. The CBO projects 
that repealing the coverage requirement could cause rates to increase 
by as much as 10 percent and result in millions more people without 
insurance. So if you can't get insurance, Mr. or Mrs. American, or if 
your premiums are going up, you know who caused it--the President and 
congressional Republicans by sabotaging the law that a majority of 
Americans want to see stay on the books.
  Making things worse, earlier this week, the comment period ended for 
a proposed Trump administration rule that is perhaps the most radical 
sabotage of our healthcare system yet--a rule that would expand the 
availability of junk insurance plans. These junk insurance plans would 
force higher premiums on people with preexisting conditions, impose an 
age tax on older Americans, and once again could subject Americans to 
the devastating effects of medical bankruptcy, which too many people go 
through now. Many plans might not cover essential services, such as 
prescription drugs, maternity care, and mental health services.
  Each of these actions taken by President Trump and Republicans in 
Congress will raise costs and reduce access. We are truly living under 
TrumpCare today, with no effort by the President or congressional 
Republicans to make it better.
  Unfortunately, starting next week, the American people could well see 
the devastating consequences of 1\1/2\ years of healthcare sabotage 
reflected in the 2019 rates.

                National Memorial for Peace and Justice

  Finally, Madam President, I would like to add a word about an event 
taking place today in Montgomery, AL. Today in Montgomery, the National 
Memorial for Peace and Justice, dedicated to the legacy of enslaved 
Black people, victims of lynching, and African Americans who have been 
victimized by White supremacy, will open its doors.
  I read about the new memorial in the newspaper. It was touching. It 
was moving. So many innocent people were lynched for no reason--walking 
behind a White woman, other kinds of things like that. Having read and 
watched the accounts about the memorial, it will be a harrowing 
experience. Much like the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, it forces 
visitors to confront the human toll of racism, America's original sin. 
And it allows each county to get a replica of a list on a block--sort 
of like a tombstone--of who was lynched. So maybe those counties can 
look into their souls, too, and do better, as we all can, at trying to 
eliminate racism.
  America's original sin is racism and the vast and terrible numbers of 
African Americans who were brutally murdered for simply being Black. 
This museum forces us, as Martin Luther King did, to look into the 
mirror and see what the country has done wrong and move to correct it.
  I truly salute all the folks who put this wonderful, wonderful museum 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas.

                       The Appropriations Process

  Mr. ROBERTS. Madam President, I would like to make a very short 
comment with regard to the distinguished minority leader's remarks this 
  In the midst of his remarks, Mr. Schumer mentioned something that I 
think is terribly important. Yesterday, the Rules Committee--and the 
distinguished Senator used to be the chairman of the Rules Committee. I 
think I was ranking member at that particular time. He spoke of an 
agreement to move appropriations bills. I want to thank him for that, 
and also Senator Durbin, who indicated that as of yesterday.
  We did reach an agreement in a bipartisan way to do something about 
filing cloture 86 times and other things going on and reducing that 
time period. We will get to that.
  The breakthrough could be an agreement that Mr. Schumer has agreed to 
with regard to appropriations bills. If we can do that, we might be 
able to get back to the regular order that both of us experienced when 
we first came to the Senate. Many Members here have not experienced 
  Mr. SCHUMER. The majority, I think.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Yes. Consequently, I want to thank you for that. And I 
know Senator Shelby is eager to do the 12 appropriations bills, and I 
know Senator Durbin is as well. I think that one statement in the midst 
of your comments, sir, is terribly important, and I want people to be 
aware of it, and I thank you.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Thank you. I appreciate very much the remarks of my 
friend from Kansas. I hope these sprouts of bipartisanship can grow 
into mighty oaks.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Madam President, I take this time because I know that 
shortly we are going to be voting on Mr. Pompeo's nomination as 
Secretary of State, and I want to explain to my colleagues why I cannot 
support his nomination.
  As I said in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his 
nomination hearing, I appreciate Mr. Pompeo's public service throughout 
his career--his service in the military and his service in Congress and 
as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I also appreciate the 
fact that he is willing to serve our Nation in this most important post 
as Secretary of State.
  In the United States, we urgently need a confirmed Secretary of 
State, but it is our responsibility in the U.S. Senate to advise and 
consent on the President's nominations and to act as an independent 
branch of government.
  I must state that we are in this urgent need because of Mr. Trump's 
abrupt dismissal of our former Secretary of State in the midst of many 
international challenges. In my view, though, Mr. Pompeo is not the 
right person. I reached that conclusion by his actions and his 
  If Mr. Pompeo is confirmed, he will be the top diplomat for the 
United States. He must be an independent voice in the White House. I 
have questions as to whether he will be that independent voice. He 
needs to engage our allies. That is how our diplomacy works. He has to 
be the loudest voice for diplomacy in our national security, in the use 
of our tools, and the military needs to be a matter of last resort.
  I was reminded of this challenge for America when President Macron 
addressed the joint session of Congress yesterday. President Macron 
pointed out that the United States established multinational world 
order in the aftermath of World War II, which is embodied in the 
transatlantic partnership, and we, the United States, must lead in 
order to preserve that national security blanket. So it is incumbent 
upon the Secretary of State to work with our allies--particularly our 
European allies but all of our allies.
  As just one example, when I look at Mr. Pompeo's record in regard to 
the nuclear agreement with Iran, during that discussion as to whether 
we would have diplomacy, it was Mr. Pompeo who said that the solution 
rests with 2,000 sorties to destroy the Iran nuclear capacity. That is 
not diplomacy. That is not leading with diplomacy. Now he is espousing 
that, if necessary, we should pull out of the agreement if we can't 
change it, even though Iran is in compliance with the agreement. That 
is not diplomacy, and that is certainly not working with our European 
  Yesterday, we heard President Macron assert that it is critically 
important that that agreement move forward if Iran is in compliance. 
Yes, we can build on it, but to walk away from it would be wrong.
  Another example that gives me great concern is Mr. Pompeo's position 
in regard to the Paris climate talks. I know we all have different 
views about climate and what our individual policy should be in order 
to deal with the realities of climate change, but one thing should be 
clear: that we want to be in

[[Page S2452]]

the discussions with the international community.
  In regard to Iran, Mr. Pompeo would isolate us from our European 
allies, but in regard to withdrawing from the Paris climate talks, he 
would isolate America from every other nation in the world. We would be 
the only nation not a part of that discussion. Let me remind my 
colleagues that the commitments made in Paris are only enforceable by 
us. There is no international enforcement mechanism.
  Words matter. A top diplomat needs to engage a very diverse global 
community. Mr. Pompeo's words unfortunately make it very challenging 
for him to be able to have the confidence of the international 
  He associated American Muslims with terrorism by stating that their 
perceived silence in condemning attacks ``has made these Islamic 
leaders across America potentially complicit.'' I know that after each 
of the horrible terrorist activities we have seen in America, Muslim 
leaders in Maryland and Muslim leaders around the world have stood up 
and said that they condemn in the strongest possible terms those 
terrorist acts.
  That should have no space. Unfortunately, those types of comments 
give space to those who are promoting a form of nationalism that allows 
for hate-mongering, and that cannot be tolerated in our country.
  The LGBTQ community is rightly concerned. I go to Mr. Pompeo citing 
verbatim the following passage from a sermon castrating members of the 
LGBTQ community.

       America has worshipped other gods and called it 
     multiculturalism. We have endorsed perversion and called it 
     an alternative lifestyle.

  That type of language should have no place for someone who wants to 
be the top diplomat of America.
  So I have come to the conclusion, based upon the necessity of the 
Secretary of State to engage the national community, to provide 
leadership and the use of diplomacy, that based upon those--my 
priorities, policy priorities, not politics or partisanship--that I 
cannot support Mr. Pompeo for Secretary of State.
  I want to conclude with this. I have had the chance to lead the 
Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I have been a 
member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee my entire 12 years in 
this institution. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee and its 
leaders have had a long tradition of bipartisanship, of recognizing the 
independent role of the legislative branch and the critical role played 
by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and we are always stronger 
when we act in unity.
  That is a tradition of our committee. I want to just point out that I 
don't question anyone's motives on how they vote on the nominee for the 
Secretary of State, but I have great confidence that we in the Senate 
Foreign Relations Committee will continue the great tradition we have 
established as an independent voice and as a voice that tries to work 
in unity in the best interest of our Nation.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Madam President, it was an honor for me to speak in 
front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this month in support 
of my Kansas friend and colleague, Mike Pompeo, as the President's 
nominee for Secretary of State. I come to the floor to urge all of my 
colleagues, despite the previous remarks, to vote in favor of this 
uniquely qualified nominee in such a vital role in our administration's 
  The point I would like to make, as we go into the very important 
topics we have to discuss on an international basis, is that we need 
Mike Pompeo, and we need him now.
  As our Nation's most senior diplomat, Mike, I know, will be 
forthright, will be forceful and thoughtful and, yes, he will be 
diplomatic. He will give the President and the Congress very candid 
counsel. He is a man of his word.
  Now, I say all of this because I think I, at least, have the 
credentials to know Mike and to know who he is and what he is about 
because I have known him for more than a decade, first as a friend and 
a business leader, then as a congressional colleague, and most recently 
as a leader of our intelligence community. We had some long talks 
before he accepted that offer by the President, and I thought he was 
very well suited.
  Mike will represent American ideals and values backed by the strength 
of leadership of the free world--yes, the free world and the allies 
that have been referred to by my colleagues across the aisle. The point 
is, whenever there is a void, the world pays a price. That is why we 
need Mike, and that is why we need him now.
  I am going to again urge all of my colleagues--all of those who voted 
in support of his intelligence post last year and those who now have 
the opportunity to support this extremely qualified candidate--to vote 
yes and to send our senior diplomat to work on the many challenges that 
face our Nation.

               Nominations and the Appropriations Process

  Madam President, now, let me talk a little bit about bipartisanship 
and what I have stated with regard to my friend and colleague, the 
minority leader. I have encouraging news. We met yesterday in the Rules 
Committee and voted to reduce postcloture debate from 30 hours to 8 
hours for certain nominations. I am not sure we have the 60 votes to 
pass that, but it is something at least we are moving toward with 
regard to the problem of having 86 cloture votes and delaying the time; 
that is, 3 months, by the way, with regard to time lost that we could 
have been working on other issues.
  We still have to consider this change to the rules on the Senate 
floor, but in the course of our debate, the minority whip, Senator 
Durbin, who is an appropriator par excellence, has supported Chairman 
Shelby's commitment to do all 12 appropriations bills--how long, how 
long, how long has it been since we have done appropriations bills and 
voted on amendments on appropriations bills?
  The leadership has apparently decided to recommend that we actually 
return to being a Senate voting on amendments. Many Senators, as I said 
earlier, do not even know what it is like to serve in a functioning 
Senate. They hardly know what it is like to operate under regular 
order, where bills are referred to committee, amended, brought to the 
floor, debated, amended, and then passed when appropriations bills were 
on time. Goodness knows we need to get back to that.
  Members of the Appropriations Committee, without this agreement--
prior to this agreement--were standing on the sidelines, wounded 
cardinals, if you will, with a shrinking slice of the discretionary 
pie. So thank you to the minority whip and thank you to the leadership 
on both sides for our efforts to get back to regular order.
  Now you can take one step further and vote for Mike Pompeo, a 
qualified and honorable candidate to serve as Secretary of State. Most 
of the statements I have heard--I have not paid too much attention to 
the colloquy on the floor or the statements on the floor--but people 
who have reservations have a ``while I'' speech: while I understand his 
qualifications, while I understand he has a great background, first in 
his class at West Point, and while I, and while I, and while I.
  Then, there is the catch: But then, on the other hand, I have some 
concerns. Most of the concerns are in regard to whether Mike Pompeo can 
be diplomatic. I know him. He can be forceful--sometimes he can be a 
little stubborn, but he can be forceful. He is well qualified for the 
job and, yes, he can be diplomatic.
  So I hope we can take this step toward a bipartisan Senate and take 
one further vote and vote for Mike Pompeo, who is certainly qualified. 
I say that because the cloth of comity in this Senate is pretty 
threadbare. We have a situation where we need to return to a sense of 
comity and at least some bipartisanship. Certainly, it would be also to 
set aside personal and partisan concerns and vote for Mr. Pompeo.
  As I said again, we have a void right now. We have a good man to be 
Secretary of State. I urge my colleagues to vote yes, and let's put a 
few threads back into the cloth of comity in the Senate and recommit to 
being the world's greatest deliberative body.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.

[[Page S2453]]


  Ms. WARREN. Madam President, I rise to express my strong opposition 
to President Trump's nomination of Mike Pompeo to be the next Secretary 
of State. There are many reasons to oppose this nomination, but the 
main reason for me is pretty straightforward. Mike Pompeo is completely 
unfit to serve as America's chief diplomat.
  During his time as a public servant, Mike Pompeo has embraced a 
variety of views that betray America's values. Whether it is his 
support for interrogation techniques that amount to torture, his 
preference for war over diplomatic solutions, or his hateful, blatantly 
discriminatory views about Muslim and LGBTQ Americans, Mike Pompeo's 
confirmation would degrade America's diplomacy and erode our moral 
standing on the world stage.
  Let's start with his evolving position on torture. In 2014, then-
Congressman Pompeo praised the interrogators who used torture as 
``patriots'' and ``heroes,'' but when seeking confirmation to become 
CIA Director, Mr. Pompeo suddenly said he would ``always comply with 
the law'' prohibiting torture.
  When asked if he would comply with a request from the President to 
use torture, he said he couldn't ``imagine being asked to do so.'' 
Never mind that as a candidate Donald Trump boasted about his desire to 
bring back waterboarding and ``a hell of a lot worse.'' In his later 
written answers, Mr. Pompeo suggested he could support bringing back 
waterboarding and other torture techniques if he thought they were 
  So, first, Mike Pompeo was for torture, but when he wanted to be CIA 
Director, he miraculously changed his position. Now he thinks the 
United States should reserve the right to torture people in the future. 
This position undermines our core values as Americans, and that alone 
should disqualify him from being America's Secretary of State, but 
there is more.
  Mike Pompeo's hawkish views could quite literally lead us into 
another war. Just look at his views on Iran. The Iranian Government is 
a bad actor, no doubt about it. That is why the Iran nuclear deal was 
so important. It is easier to counter Iran's bad behavior if it has no 
nuclear weapons than it would be to keep Iran in check if it could 
threaten the region and threaten the world with a nuclear bomb.
  The deal with Iran imposed strong limits and intrusive inspections on 
Iran's nuclear program so it cannot develop a nuclear weapon, and our 
intelligence community tells us it is working. That is very important 
to the security of our allies and the security of the whole world.
  The Iran nuclear deal is a negotiated solution designed to prevent 
Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and it was accomplished without 
resorting to military action. The deal is the product of putting 
diplomacy first. That is good for the security of the United States, 
good for our allies, and good for the world.
  Mike Pompeo doesn't seem to understand that. He has called the Iran 
nuclear deal a ``surrender,'' and he has said the United States should 
walk away. Pompeo has even publicly contemplated regime change. How can 
we expect countries to trust America's word when our chief diplomat 
believes we have the right to break our word and violate international 
agreements at any moment?
  Think for a minute about what it would mean for negotiating any deal 
with North Korea about their nuclear weapons if Mr. Pompeo is in 
charge. He said we can tear up our agreement with Iran, even though 
they have followed through on their part, just because Mr. Trump and 
Mr. Pompeo have decided they don't like it. Who would negotiate with a 
United States that has so little respect for the standing of its 
promises? I cannot in good faith vote in favor of Mr. Pompeo for the 
reasons I have outlined, but there is another reason I cannot vote for 
him, one that is deeply personal to me.
  Shortly after the Boston Marathon attack, then-Congressman Pompeo 
accused Muslim leaders of being silent about the bombing and even said 
they were potentially complicit in the attack. After the marathon 
bombings, all of Boston grieved together, including our Muslim 
leaders. Our Muslim communities helped Massachusetts emerge stronger 
and more united. To suggest otherwise is insulting to the Boston 
Marathon bombing victims and to our Muslim American brothers and 
sisters. When he was shown to be wrong, Mike Pompeo refused to 
apologize. His comments were ignorant, offensive, and just plain wrong. 
They certainly aren't the words of someone who is fit to be America's 
chief diplomat.

  But there is more. Mike Pompeo's longstanding attacks on the LGBTQ 
community also make him unfit to serve as Secretary of State. He 
supported legislation in Congress to allow States not to recognize 
equal marriage, and he relied on financial contributions from hateful 
groups like the Family Research Council. His public record paints a 
deeply disturbing world view.
  The risk posed by this nomination is magnified because Mike Pompeo 
would be teaming up with John Bolton, President Trump's new National 
Security Advisor. John Bolton has never met a war he didn't like, and 
Mike Pompeo supported Bolton's disastrous Iraq War. Together, Mike 
Pompeo and John Bolton will fan the flames of war in President Trump's 
foreign policy because they both embrace military solutions first.
  I hope that, if confirmed, Mr. Pompeo will take real steps to 
prioritize diplomacy, to improve morale at the State Department, and to 
fill key diplomatic positions that have been vacant for far too long. 
But at a time when we are facing enormous global challenges, the State 
Department needs a leader who will put diplomacy first to solve 
problems and to protect our national security. Mike Pompeo is not that 
leader. I strongly urge my colleagues to vote against his nomination.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. If no one yields time, the time will be 
charged equally.
  The Senator from Michigan.
  Mr. PETERS. Madam President, I rise to oppose the nomination of CIA 
Director Mike Pompeo to be the Secretary of State.
  I voted against confirming Mike Pompeo to be the Director of the 
Central Intelligence Agency because he lacked the experience and the 
qualifications for the position. His time at the CIA has done nothing 
to ensure me that he now has the capabilities to lead the State 
  As a Member of the House of Representatives, Mike Pompeo made 
repeated discriminatory remarks about Muslim Americans. He has argued 
that the Muslim American leaders have a ``special obligation'' to 
denounce terrorist attacks, and he has falsely claimed that they have 
failed to do that. I am proud to represent dynamic Muslim and Arab-
American communities in Michigan. I have seen that these patriotic 
communities are often the first to denounce senseless acts of violence 
that pervert the Islamic faith.
  Mike Pompeo also has close ties to a group that is a Southern Poverty 
Law Center ``designated hate group'' because of its anti-Muslim 
rhetoric and conspiracy theories. I seriously question the judgment of 
an elected official who would work with such a group, and I do not 
believe it shows the type of character required in an individual who is 
nominated to be our country's top diplomat. How can someone with this 
attitude work effectively with our allies and partners in the Middle 
East? I don't think he can.
  Mr. Pompeo has also supported bringing back waterboarding and other 
torture measures that do nothing to keep America safe and go against 
our Nation's core values. We now have a President who has said that he 
believes that torture ``absolutely'' works.
  We can do better than this. America is better than this. I voted to 
ban the use of waterboarding and other so-called enhanced interrogation 
measures because they do not work, and in fact, they violate basic 
human rights, undermine our Nation's counterterrorism missions, and 
place our own servicemembers at risk.
  Confirming a Secretary of State that has condoned torture is just 
another step in our Nation's current retreat from being what President 
Ronald Reagan called ``a shining city on the hill.''
  I am concerned that Mike Pompeo will also continue the United States' 
retreat from a leadership role in addressing climate change--an 
existential moral and economic issue that will impact our planet for 
generations to come. Director Pompeo has criticized the Paris climate 
agreement and has

[[Page S2454]]

made statements that contradict the overwhelming scientific events on 
climate change.
  Our Nation faces serious global challenges: Russian aggression, North 
Korea's nuclear weapons program, instability in the Middle East, and 
China's ongoing efforts to expand their power and influence. The world 
is looking to the United States for leadership. This is a time when 
skill and experienced diplomacy is essential to advance our interests 
and our values on the world stage. I do not believe that Director 
Pompeo has the necessary experience, diplomatic skills, and values 
required to be the Secretary of State. I will oppose his nomination 
this afternoon.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.

                     Nomination of Richard Grenell

  Mr. MENENDEZ. Madam President, in addition to the nomination of the 
Secretary of State, later today we are considering the nomination of 
Richard Grenell to be our Ambassador to Germany. I opposed Mr. 
Grenell's nomination in committee, and I will again oppose his 
nomination today.
  If confirmed, Mr. Grenell will assume the post at a time of strain in 
the bilateral relationship since the election of President Trump, who 
has disagreed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on several key 
  Germany is one of our most critical partners and a key ally in 
upholding the post-World War II order responsible for securing peace 
and prosperity. Germany is a key NATO ally, serving with distinction 
and sacrifice in Afghanistan. Germany also serves on the frontlines of 
Europe against an aggressive Russia that is actively seeking to 
destabilize German democracy in the same way it does American 
democracy. Germany showed great humanity in accepting so many migrants 
when that crisis escalated in 2015.
  This is a close ally for our security but, more importantly, an ally 
in championing the values we hold dear as a country. It would have been 
my hope and desire that for such an important ally as Germany, the 
President would have put forth a serious, credible, experienced 
diplomat who could strengthen our relationship with Germany. Instead, 
President Trump nominated Mr. Grenell.
  In a few moments, I will read things that Mr. Grenell has tweeted in 
the past and that he continues to tweet, even as his nomination has 
been pending before this body. I do not savor having to read you these 
tweets because, frankly, I don't think they are suitable to have to say 
on the floor of the Senate.
  But since the majority and the President have prioritized this 
nominee and the vote will occur a little later, the American people 
deserve to know exactly who the Trump administration wants to represent 
the United States to our great friend and ally Germany. So I will read 
a selection of Mr. Grenell's tweets for the Record:
  ``Did you notice that while Michelle Obama is working out on the 
Biggest Loser, she is sweating on the East Room's carpet?''
  Rachel Maddow should ``take a breath and put on a necklace.''
  He said this about Callista Gingrich: ``Callista stands there like 
she is wife #1.''
  He said in another quote: ``Do you think Callista's hair snaps on?''
  This is just a selection--just a selection. I chose not to read some 
that I consider the most insulting out of respect for this body.
  These are not the words of a child or a teenager who does not 
understand the power of words; these are the words of a grown adult who 
had previously been a public face of the Bush administration for 8 
years. Mr. Grenell's derogatory comments about women are simply 
unacceptable for anyone to make in public, let alone a diplomat.
  I would go further. Not only do these tweets show bad judgment, they 
show us who Mr. Grenell really is and how comfortable he is publicly 
contributing his own brand of toxic political discourse. Will he do 
such things if he is confirmed and goes to Germany? Will he insult via 
his Twitter account the female Chancellor of Germany? I don't know. I 
hope not.
  In the committee process of considering his nomination, Mr. Grenell 
was asked about these tweets and other comments he has made. Do you 
know what he said? He assured us that he understood there was a 
difference between being a private citizen and being a public figure 
and that he would never say or tweet such things as a public figure. So 
imagine our surprise when Mr. Grenell started tweeting again after he 
had been voted out of the committee. Astonishingly, he retweeted a 
WikiLeaks tweet which included documents stolen by Russian 
  Madam President, the other nominee before us today, CIA Director Mike 
Pompeo, has called WikiLeaks ``a non-state hostile intelligence 
service.'' That is what CIA Director Mike Pompeo called WikiLeaks--``a 
non-state hostile intelligence service.'' He went on to say about 
WikiLeaks that it will ``take down America any way they can and find 
any willing partner to achieve that end.''
  Imagine that. Amidst all the controversy about the connection between 
WikiLeaks and Russia and their interference in our 2016 election and 
while under consideration for an ambassadorship by this body, Mr. 
Grenell feels perfectly comfortable tweeting out emails stolen by 
Russian intelligence to interfere in our democratic process--basically, 
in essence, as Mike Pompeo describes, doing the work of Russian 
  These are not the actions of a person with anything close to good 
judgment. These are not the actions of a diplomat. I urge my colleagues 
to reject sending Mr. Grenell to Germany as a U.N. Ambassador.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I did not vote for Rex Tillerson to be 
Secretary of State. Although Mr. Tillerson was a successful corporate 
executive, I did not believe that heading the world's largest oil 
company was the right resume for the Nation's top diplomat. Mr. 
Tillerson is a man of substantial intellect who wanted to do the right 
thing, but his record as Secretary of State speaks for itself. He did 
not do well, and the country, the State Department, and its employees--
including some of our most experienced diplomats who felt they were no 
longer relevant--paid a substantial price.
  For that reason, it is imperative that the next Secretary of State 
has the qualities and professional track record to restore the 
preeminent role that the Department has traditionally played in U.S. 
foreign policy.
  It is also for that reason that today I intend to vote against the 
nomination of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
  By all accounts, Mr. Pompeo, like Mr. Tillerson, is a man of 
substantial intellect, and my conversations with him have seemed to 
confirm that. As we have learned, that alone is not enough to qualify 
one for a job that should be filled by someone who has proven that he 
or she understands and is skilled in the art of diplomacy and whose 
beliefs are consistent with fundamental American values. As the 
country's top diplomat, the Secretary of State should be a vocal and 
persuasive advocate for diplomacy to avoid conflict and crises. 
Unfortunately, I believe Mr. Pompeo's record falls far short.
  Mike Pompeo has made no secret of his strong support for President 
Trump, whose saber rattling, provocations, and so-called America First 
policies would more accurately be described as ``America Alone.'' The 
President has called for drastic cuts in the State Department's budget 
and personnel that would sharply diminish its role in diplomacy and 
development. He would weaken international organizations and alliances 
that serve our interests and undermine U.S. global leadership at a time 
when China and our other competitors are seeking every opportunity to 
expand their global reach. Unlike Secretary of Defense Mattis who, in 
response to the White House's proposed cuts, has been a strong advocate 
for the State Department's mission and budget, I am not aware that Mr. 
Pompeo ever publicly expressed a view either way until his confirmation 
  Mr. Pompeo supported the invasion of Iraq, and he has defended the 
use of torture, two of the most profoundly misguided foreign policy 
decisions since the Vietnam war. As far as I know, it was not until 
this week, when his nomination was in jeopardy, that he said the Iraq 
war that he had long defended was a mistake, a mistake that claimed the 
lives of thousands of

[[Page S2455]]

American soldiers and sowed chaos in the Middle East. The fact that he 
has insisted that waterboarding is not torture and, by implication, 
acceptable should by itself be disqualifying for the job of Secretary 
of State.
  He has supported keeping open the Guantanamo detention facility, 
arguing that detainees ``should stay right where they are'' and that 
the facility ``is the right place for [detainees] from both a security 
and legal perspective.'' That is as wrong as it is disturbing. The 
indefinite detention without trial of detainees at Guantanamo 
contradicts our most basic principles of justice, degrades our 
international standing, and harms our national security. Mr. Pompeo's 
position is particularly troubling, given the President's expressed 
intent to send new prisoners to Guantanamo for the first time in more 
than a decade.
  Mr. Pompeo has opposed what he called the ``disastrous'' Iran nuclear 
agreement, and he appears to favor withdrawing from it despite the 
International Atomic Energy Agency's determination that Iran is in 
compliance and support for the agreement from a wide spectrum of 
diplomatic, scientific, and national security experts. As far as I am 
aware, he has offered no realistic alternative, and the consequence 
would be to isolate the United States from our closest allies and to 
risk Iran restarting its centrifuges and quickly obtaining a nuclear 
  During the negotiations to halt Iran's nuclear program, Mr. Pompeo 
supported military strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities, 
reportedly arguing that it would take ``under 2,000 sorties to destroy 
the Iranian nuclear capacity,'' which he described as ``not an 
insurmountable task for the coalition forces.'' It might not be 
insurmountable, except for the fact that it would be the end of the 
coalition since few, if any, of our partners would join us. Beyond 
that, the unilateral use of preemptive military force on that scale in 
a volatile region in which Russia has its own security interests could 
ignite a regional war with far-reaching, possibly catastrophic, 
  While the world's scientists overwhelmingly warn of the long-term 
dangers of climate change, Mr. Pompeo is an unabashed climate change 
sceptic. He has said that the Paris Climate Agreement, which is 
supported by practically every country including China, amounted to 
``bowing down to radical environmentalists.'' That is extremist 
rhetoric about what many believe to be the most serious challenge 
facing our planet, a challenge that can only be met through diplomacy, 
and it belies a disturbing intolerance for opposing views.
  Mr. Pompeo has accused American Muslim leaders of being ``potentially 
complicit'' in acts of terrorism that they do not specifically condemn. 
He has said that Muslims ``abhor Christians'' and that they ``will 
continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand 
and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior 
and is truly the only solution for our world.'' It would be hard to 
think of a more effective way to alienate the Muslim community, without 
whose help we cannot effectively counter violent extremism.
  As a Member of Congress, Mr. Pompeo cosponsored legislation to ban 
all refugee admissions, regardless of country of origin, even though 
people seeking safety are already subjected to a rigorous vetting 
process. It should alarm each of us that the nominee to oversee the 
bureau charged with protecting refugees, migrants, and other vulnerable 
people uprooted by conflict--a tradition we take pride in--would take 
such a crass, ideological approach to our country's refugee admissions 
  Mr. Pompeo has suggested that the Federal Government should collect 
records of American citizens' communications, without warrants and in 
bulk, and combine them with ``publicly available financial and 
lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database.'' 
Think about that, at a time when the public is already outraged by 
Facebook's and Cambridge Analytica's misuse of personal data.
  As a Member of Congress, Mr. Pompeo criticized President Obama for 
going to Cuba, accusing him of making ``unilateral concessions.'' It is 
true that the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba--which was 
overwhelmingly supported by the people of both countries--did not 
include an agreement by the Cuban Government to hold free and fair 
elections, nor to stop persecuting opponents of the government. No one 
who knows Cuba expected that. But if free and fair elections and 
respect for human rights are Mr. Pompeo's prerequisite for having an 
embassy and an ambassador in a foreign country, we will need to close a 
lot more embassies than the one in Havana.
  We could begin with our embassies in China and Russia, Saudi Arabia 
and Egypt would be next, then Jordan and Morocco, Honduras, Vietnam--
the list goes on. The fact is we need embassies staffed with qualified 
personnel, including in countries whose governments we disagree with, 
so our diplomats can work to protect our interests and the interests of 
Americans who travel, study, work, or serve there. That is diplomacy 
  Mr. Pompeo opposes LGBT rights and has no record of defending civil 
society activists and independent journalists who risk their lives 
speaking out against corruption and abuses of human rights by foreign 
security forces, particularly in countries we consider friends or 
allies. He has also worked against women's reproductive rights, 
including cosponsoring radical legislation that would make abortion 
illegal nationwide, even in cases of rape. He voted to defund Planned 
Parenthood and for the ``global gag rule,'' which prevents foreign 
nongovernmental organizations from receiving U.S. funds if they use 
their own money to provide safe abortions or even information about 
abortion services in their country.
  I take no pleasure in opposing Mr. Pompeo's nomination. I wish I 
could vote for him, as I am the ranking member of the Appropriations 
Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations. I 
strongly support the State Department, its mission, its personnel, and 
its programs. I have consistently defended its budget when others here 
or in the White House sought to cut it.
  I am pleased that Mr. Pompeo has said he wants to fill the vacant 
senior leadership positions at the State Department and that he 
recognizes that the United States has a duty to ``lead the calls for 
democracy, prosperity, and human rights around the world.'' But his 
record in Congress and his staunchly ideological views raise grave 
concerns about the policy direction he would give to those senior 
leaders. Given his record and beliefs, there is little reason to 
believe that he will be an effective or consistent defender of 
democracy and human rights abroad, particularly in the face of 
President Trump's abandonment of those values and principles.
  In many other respects, Mr. Pompeo's testimony before the Foreign 
Relations Committee had all the characteristics of a ``confirmation 
conversion,'' when he contradicted many of his previous statements and 
positions. As Senator Menendez asked, Which Pompeo are we voting for? 
The job of Secretary of State is too important, especially with Donald 
Trump in the Oval Office, to roll the dice and discount everything Mr. 
Pompeo has said in the past.
  If Mr. Pompeo is confirmed, as it appears he will be, I will make 
every effort to work with him to advance our foreign policy and 
national security interests, as I did with Secretary Tillerson after 
opposing his nomination, but given the impulsive and reckless 
statements and actions of this President and the upheaval at the State 
Department during the past year, we need a Secretary with the necessary 
temperament, values, and longstanding commitment to diplomacy and 
development. I hope he proves me wrong, but today I do not believe we 
have that in this nominee.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Madam President, I rise today in opposition to the 
nomination of Mike Pompeo to be our next Secretary of State.
  After considering his testimony before the Foreign Relations 
Committee, his work as Director of the CIA, and his record as a 
Congressman, I believe he doesn't possess the skillset necessary to be 
our country's top diplomat.
  The Secretary of State must be well-versed in the art of diplomacy. 
They must possess a deft touch necessary to

[[Page S2456]]

operate on the world stage. Unfortunately, Mr. Pompeo's record and his 
rhetoric show how ill matched he is for this position.
  Above all, I fear that he would only reinforce President Trump's 
worst impulses to lash out at our adversaries rather than pursue dogged 
diplomacy. This is particularly concerning when it comes to Iran. The 
Iran nuclear agreement is the strongest nonproliferation agreement ever 
negotiated. It blocks Iran from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon, 
protecting our security and the security of our partners in the region. 
By all reports, it appears President Trump is set on walking away from 
the Iran nuclear agreement next month, even though Iran continues to 
abide by its strict terms.
  If confirmed, I don't believe Mr. Pompeo would even try to walk the 
President back from that foolish decision. Instead, he would most 
likely feed the President's desire to leave, not because of its merits, 
but simply because it was negotiated by President Obama.
  To be clear, if the United States abandons the agreement, we will do 
so on our own. Our international partners--including the United 
Kingdom, France and Germany--have said they will remain in the 
agreement so long as Iran complies with it. To date, the IAEA 
inspectors and our own intelligence community have all said that Iran 
remains in full compliance. When the nuclear agreement was signed, Iran 
was less than a year away from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
  Today, all of Iran's paths to a weapon--the plutonium, uranium and 
covert--are blocked. The fact that today Iran cannot obtain a nuclear 
bomb is in spite of Mr. Pompeo's efforts.
  During the negotiations leading up to the agreement, then-Congressman 
Pompeo not only called for the United States to abandon diplomatic 
efforts, he encouraged us to attack Iran. He said, ``It is under 2,000 
sorties to destroy the Iranian nuclear capacity. This is not an 
insurmountable task for the coalition forces.''
  During his recent confirmation hearing, he was unable to source that 
claim or name which other nations would have joined our coalition. That 
is an especially perplexing position since our strongest allies were 
all negotiating alongside the United States at the time.
  After the nuclear agreement came into effect, Mr. Pompeo continued 
his campaign by sending the Supreme Leader a highly provocative letter. 
He taunted Tehran, asking for a visa to inspect Iran's nuclear 
facilities, monitor their elections, and receive a briefing on their 
ballistic missile programs. His publicity stunt only served to further 
inflame tensions between our countries.
  Finally, shortly after our elections and the day before he was 
nominated to be the Director of the CIA, he tweeted: ``I look forward 
to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world's largest state 
sponsor of terrorism.''
  When asked about his position during his confirmation hearing, Mr. 
Pompeo instead simply discounted the real and dangerous possibility 
that Iran would restart its nuclear weapons program if we abandon the 
agreement. I see no reason to believe his misinformed views have 
changed in the past year.
  As troubling as Mr. Pompeo's hostile view toward Iran is, I am 
equally concerned by his divisive remarks about minority groups within 
the United States. Following the Boston Marathon bombings, Mr. Pompeo 
falsely suggested Muslim Americans were complicit in the attacks. The 
following year, he characterized U.S. counterterrorism efforts as a 
struggle between Islam and Christianity.
  After the Supreme Court's landmark ruling legalizing same-sex 
marriage, Mr. Pompeo said the court's opinion was a ``shocking abuse of 
power'' that ``flies in the face of . . . our Constitution.'' He has 
also claimed that the ``ideal'' family has a father and mother, a 
shockingly outdated view of families here in the United States and 
around the world.
  Finally, the State Department plays a leading role in providing 
family planning assistance abroad. Under Mr. Pompeo, I fear the State 
Department will retreat from providing this vital assistance.
  As a Member of the House, Mr. Pompeo repeatedly cosponsored 
legislation to limit a woman's right to choose. Specifically, he 
supported bills to make abortion illegal nationwide, even in the case 
of rape.
  He also repeatedly supported the ``global gag rule,'' known as the 
Mexico City policy, which restricts U.S. funds to any foreign health 
clinic that provides abortion services, even if it is legal in that 
  All too often, rape is considered a weapon of war. Our global health 
programming should not be restricted in a manner that ignores this ugly 
  The Secretary of State is charged with representing America's values 
to the world and must be committed to exhausting all means of diplomacy 
to avoid conflict. I don't believe Mr. Pompeo can do that and shouldn't 
be confirmed as Secretary of State.
  Therefore, I will vote no, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.
  Mr. REED. Madam President, I would like to address the nomination of 
Director Pompeo to be the next Secretary of State. I intend to vote 
against this nomination, and I would like to explain how I reached this 
  This was a difficult decision. I supported Director Pompeo's 
nomination to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Director 
Pompeo is a talented individual who has spent his life in public 
service, but the job of Secretary of State requires different skill 
sets and experiences than that of Director of the Central Intelligence 
  As such, the Senate has a constitutional responsibility to review 
Director Pompeo's qualifications anew with respect to this specific 
nomination. As I indicated, the role of the Secretary of State is 
significantly different from that of the CIA Director. The question 
before us is whether Director Pompeo has the right background, 
judgment, and independence to faithfully execute the duties of 
America's top diplomat. Using those criteria, I have to oppose this 
  One of the first tasks for the next Secretary of State will be to 
rebuild the capabilities and morale of the Department of State. Over 
the last year and a half, the Department has struggled with widespread 
vacancies, drastic proposed budget cuts, a Foreign Service treated with 
contempt by the White House, and a failed reorganization effort under 
Secretary Tillerson. The result has been the hemorrhaging of decades of 
foreign policy expertise, the demoralization of those who continue to 
serve at State, and the marginalization of diplomacy as an instrument 
of national power.
  I question whether Director Pompeo is right for the task of reversing 
the damage wrought at the State Department. During his time in the 
House, then-Congressman Pompeo was a staunch supporter of Tea Party 
proposals to slash the very State Department programs that are critical 
for advancing our foreign policy and national security interests. 
During his confirmation hearing earlier this month, Director Pompeo 
declared his commitment to end the ``demoralizing'' vacancies at the 
State Department and strengthen the diplomatic corps. Even if Director 
Pompeo has had a late conversion on the road to his nomination for 
Secretary of State, it is not clear whether he will be any more 
successful than Secretary Tillerson was in gaining White House approval 
for his desired candidates for senior positions or convincing this 
President to listen to the advice of our experts at Foggy Bottom.
  My deeper concern is whether Director Pompeo is the right choice to 
carry out the Secretary of State's role as the lead advocate for 
diplomacy as a means of advancing our national interests.
  The need for effective diplomacy to solve our most pressing security 
challenges has never been greater. Today's national security threats 
are complex, including the reemergence of near-peer competitors Russia 
and China who seek to undermine the rules-based international order, 
regional challenges from rogue regimes in North Korea and Iran, and the 
continuing threat from violent extremist groups that seek to exploit 
ungoverned spaces to spread their destructive ideologies. Such 
challenges to our national security require a comprehensive strategy 
that coordinates military and nonmilitary tools of national power.

[[Page S2457]]

  I am concerned that President Trump's bellicose rhetoric and 
budgetary priorities indicate a predisposition for choosing military 
action over diplomatic solutions. Since September 11, we have asked our 
men and women in uniform to go above and beyond in addressing security 
and stability challenges globally, and they have responded 
magnificently. As we face expanding threats below the level of armed 
conflict and insecurity arising from regional destabilization, we need 
an increased focus on nonmilitary tools and diplomacy to prevent or 
mitigate these challenges. The next Secretary of State needs to be an 
effective counterpart for Defense Secretary Mattis in finding 
diplomatic solutions to the complex crises we face in Syria, the Middle 
East, North Africa, the South China Sea, and North Korea.
  Based on his record, I am not convinced that Director Pompeo will 
serve as the strong voice for diplomacy that our military and our 
country need to counter these pressing threats. Time and again, 
Director Pompeo has chosen to reject negotiations and call for the use 
of force. His track record calls into question his ability to be an 
effective advocate for diplomatic solutions that are in U.S. national 
  With regard to the nuclear deal with Iran, known as the joint 
comprehensive plan of action, or JCPOA, Director Pompeo has called for 
``rolling back'' this multilateral agreement that was carefully 
negotiated alongside the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and 
China. Director Pompeo's opposition to the Iran nuclear deal runs 
counter to views of Defense Secretary Mattis and most senior military 
leadership. As a congressman, Director Pompeo sought to undermine 
negotiations with Iran and advocated for military airstrikes to destroy 
its nuclear program. During his confirmation hearing, Director Pompeo 
indicated that he would not push back against President Trump's 
reckless impulse to withdraw from the JCPOA in mid-May, saying instead 
that he would ``recommend to the President that we do our level best to 
work with our allies to achieve a better outcome and a better deal.'' 
This response is in spite of the fact that, by all accounts, the JCPOA 
is working as intended and Iran is verifiably meeting its commitments 
under the deal.
  Withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal would also have a profoundly 
harmful effect on our nuclear negotiations with North Korea. North 
Korea has little reason to engage with us in a serious dialogue if it 
suspects that we may later withdraw unilaterally from any agreement 
without cause. During the Trump administration, the risk of conflict 
with North Korea has increased to unprecedented levels, and the 
diplomatic preparations over the coming weeks will be critical to the 
success of President Trump's upcoming summit with the North Korean 
leader. However, should that summit fail to produce meaningful 
constraints on North Korea's nuclear ambitions, I am concerned that the 
administration will use this failure as a pretext for pivoting to a 
preemptive strike against North Korea, and I am not confident that 
Director Pompeo will be effective in urging restraint by President 
Trump in opposing military action while seeking to redouble efforts to 
find a negotiated solution.
  Perhaps the most difficult role of any Secretary of State is being an 
independent voice willing to say no to the President. I recognize that 
some say that one of Director Pompeo's highest qualifications for 
Secretary of State is his close relationship with the President because 
foreign leaders will know that, when Director Pompeo speaks, he has the 
backing of President Trump. Director Pompeo's alleged ``rapport'' with 
President Trump raises concerns that he will only tell the President 
what the President wants to hear and will not provide objective, 
nuanced policy recommendations based on U.S. foreign policy interests. 
I believe we are already seeing this dynamic with respect to the JCPOA.
  Unfortunately, we have seen this scenario before. Early in the George 
W. Bush administration, the President surrounded himself with like-
minded advisers who were predisposed to distorting the intelligence on 
Iraq, and, as a result, they failed to present nuanced policy options 
on the march to war against Saddam Hussein. I am concerned that we will 
find, in hindsight, that Director Pompeo's closeness to President Trump 
will prove less an asset and more a shared blind spot that will lead to 
simplistic policy recommendations, an unwillingness to stand up to the 
President when he is wrong, and an indulgence of the President's 
impulsive preference for strategy-free displays of military force.
  The President needs a top diplomat who will provide independent 
foreign policy recommendations, will press to exhaust all possible 
diplomatic avenues for the safety of our military and citizens, and 
will boldly represent our core American values. While I believe that 
Director Pompeo is an honorable and decent man, who has provided life-
long service to our country, he is not the right nominee for Secretary 
of State at this time. As such, I will oppose Director Pompeo's 
nomination for Secretary of State.
  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Madam President, I rise today to discuss the 
nomination of Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State.
  After closely reviewing Mr. Pompeo's record and past statements, I 
have concluded that he is not the right person to serve as Secretary of 
State. While I respect him and will work closely with him, I cannot 
support his nomination.
  The world continues to look to America for our leadership on 
diplomacy and bringing our allies together. That includes upholding 
international agreements, such as the Paris accord, which Mr. Pompeo 
has opposed. It also includes respect for people of different ethnic 
and religious backgrounds, and Mr. Pompeo's past statements about 
Muslims and immigrants greatly concern me.
  While I voted in favor of confirming Mr. Pompeo to be the Director of 
the CIA and thank him for his service, Secretary of State is a 
different job with different responsibilities.
  Thank you.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sullivan). The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mrs. ERNST. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. ERNST. Mr. President, I rise in support of the President's 
nomination of Director Mike Pompeo to serve as Secretary of State.
  Director Pompeo has a very long record of public service which has 
prepared him for this very important position. Let's start at the 
  Director Pompeo was top of his class at the U.S. Military Academy at 
West Point, and he served honorably in the U.S. Army. He is also a 
graduate of Harvard Law School. In Congress, Director Pompeo was a 
leader on issues of national security and foreign relations. Finally, 
and most recently, as Director of the CIA, Director Pompeo has been a 
successful leader of the world's best intelligence professionals who 
work to resolve some of our Nation's most sensitive and difficult 
  I have heard on the floor of the Senate recently a number of my 
colleagues who have called into question whether he should serve as our 
Nation's top diplomat. He has served in the military. He has served as 
Director of the CIA. What I want to do is go back to the time he spent 
at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
  I wish to remind the body that in the military, we serve in many 
missions, but one of them does include diplomacy. As the Presiding 
Officer understands, as military members--whether a marine or a 
soldier--oftentimes during conflicts you stand shoulder-to-shoulder 
with members of other countries. You must have an understanding of the 
cultural effects and the cultural differences between our nations, and 
you work to resolve problems. Whether with the indigenous population or 
whether it is within the military ranks, we serve as diplomats.
  At West Point, I know Director Pompeo learned this lesson very well. 
Many of us--whether you go through a military academy or whether you 
are going through a Reserve Officer Training Corps Program at a 
university like I did at Iowa State--you learn about what we call the 
instruments of national power. Those instruments of national power are 
called DIME. It is an acronym, D-I-M-E.

[[Page S2458]]

  D stands for diplomacy. We learn that, again, as members of the 
military and as officers in our Nation's military--so diplomacy. The I 
is information. The M, of course, is military and military action. The 
E stands for economic action, such as sanctions.
  Within the realm of diplomacy, we are taught and we work with 
Ambassadors, and we work through Embassies. We are taught about the 
realm of negotiations and treaties and various policies that affect 
different nations around the globe. We are engaging in international 
forums. Again, working in the defense space, of course, we have many 
opportunities to engage with leaders from other countries. Diplomacy--
it is the very basis of the instruments of national power that we all 
  I know Director Pompeo, in his capacity--whether serving at the CIA 
or going back many years to when he served in the U.S. Army, quite 
admirably, or back at the Academy when he was first taught those 
instruments of national power, or DIME, that he is well-versed in 
working with many nations in very difficult circumstances. Again, 
Director Pompeo has a very long record of public service.
  Director Pompeo also has had very strong relationships, and he values 
those relationships. His relationship with Secretary of Defense Mattis 
will prove invaluable as he works to ensure peace through strength. 
Additionally, I am confident he will inspire and lead the men and women 
of our State Department to achieve results for our Nation, and those 
results will be centered around diplomacy.
  Director Pompeo understands the threats we face as a nation every 
day. During a time when the threats against the United States continue 
to grow around the globe, it is important--important--for President 
Trump to have his full diplomatic and national security team in place. 
We must do this. Diplomacy. Diplomacy.
  Director Pompeo is also the right person to serve as our top 
diplomat. He will rise to meet the challenges and foster the 
relationships we need around the world to keep our Nation free, secure, 
and prosperous. Again, I go back to the instruments of national power: 
D-I-M-E. The first is always diplomacy. Director Pompeo understands, 
and I am glad that we as a body will be taking up his confirmation vote 
  I urge my colleagues to support this eminently qualified man as our 
next Secretary of State.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BURR. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                      Remembering Matthew Pollard

  Mr. BURR. Mr. President, it is with great sadness that I rise to note 
the passing of, and acknowledgement of, the service of a valued member 
of the Intelligence Committee staff. On the evening of April 23, while 
attending a conference on behalf of the committee, Matthew Pollard lost 
his life to a heart attack. He was 52 years old. Matt is survived by 
his mother, three older sisters, and a young son Bradley, who was the 
cherished one.
  Matt served honorably in the Army as an intelligence officer and 
twice deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, from 2003 to 
2004, and Operation Enduring Freedom, from 2009 to 2010.
  Matt was smart. He was really smart. He held a master's degree in 
strategic intelligence and mechanical engineering and was close to 
completing his third master's degree.
  Matt had one of those jobs, like many who serve on my committee, that 
you can't talk about very much. That silence did not accurately reflect 
the value he brought to the Intelligence Committee. He filled a 
critical role. He was the majority staff member responsible for 
conducting oversight over the Nation's overhead architecture. In 
layman's terms, he knew satellites. Matt knew a lot about satellites. 
He knew about what they were capable of and what they weren't capable 
of. He knew what they cost and, perhaps more importantly, what they 
should not have cost.
  Matt also had the unique ability to explain the unexplainable, which, 
as many here know, is a rare skill. Matt had a mind and an eye for 
detail, both technical and budgetary. He prided himself in finding ways 
to cut the costs of those fantastically expensive programs.
  On our committee, he had a discerning eye for calling out contractors 
when he saw deficiencies. Matt was good-natured with his colleagues in 
industry. He was tough, but those same colleagues loved him. Matt would 
half smile, half frown at a presentation, and you could see contractors 
lower their heads and shuffle their feet a little bit because they knew 
Matt was right. He was universally respected and liked by all who 
encountered him, whether they sat on the same side of the table or 
whether they were on the other side. When Matt passed away on Monday, 
word literally spread around the country in a matter of hours. His loss 
is devastating to many, including the committee, the members, and the 
  Matt actually served twice on the staff of the Intelligence 
Committee. He began his first tour with us in March of 2002. That first 
tour lasted 11 years. Matt couldn't stay away from the Senate for long, 
though, and he gave in to tremendous pressure from the Appropriations 
Committee to join them, which he did in April of 2014.
  Matt's drive to serve was strong. When I became chairman in January 
of 2015, I had one objective: persuading him to rejoin the Intelligence 
Committee, and it was one of my top priorities. I am eternally grateful 
that I was able to lure him away from the appropriators and know, 
without a doubt, he was one of the strongest members of the 
Intelligence Committee staff.
  Matt studied. Matt inquired. He never backed down from a debate. Matt 
spoke his mind and spoke truth to power, and he did it often without 
bias. We loved him for all of it, and we will sorely miss Matt.
  However, more importantly than the values he brought to the 
committee, to the U.S. Senate, and to the Intelligence Committee was 
how Matt conducted himself as a person and as a father. Matt loved his 
son Bradley. That is probably what I will remember most about Matt. 
Bradley was Matt's world--Boy Scouts, campouts, soccer games. If 
Bradley was involved, Matt was there. He was a great dad.
  We weren't surprised when we heard that Matt recently misjudged the 
forecast. Despite wearing only a T-shirt and shorts in 40-degree 
temperatures and whipping winds, he cheered loudly as Bradley played 
his first soccer game. This is one small example of his devotion to 
Bradley, whom he proudly referred to as ``my boy.''
  Bradley, I want to say thank you for sharing your father with us. We 
will forever be grateful.
  Given Matt's hours and portfolio, he, like many of the staff, often 
worked on the weekends, and Bradley was a regular presence in the 
committee, on those weekends, in the committee space. He often could be 
found playing board games with kids of other staffers who were also 
working weekends and similarly engaged in finding a work-life balance.
  Matt's devotion and generosity extended beyond Bradley. He was also 
known, on occasion, to lead many adventures around the Capitol. He 
would take him through the complex with small herds of children in tow 
so their parents could actually get some work done. Kids would come 
back full of stories with ``guess what we did'' to their parents.
  We at the committee, and our sister committee on the House, will miss 
having the benefit of his wisdom and his experience. So, too, will 
those in the intelligence community who worked with Matt, to include 
the senior leadership at some of the most important agencies.
  While the American people may have never known Matt by name, 
hopefully, this statement will give you some insight into his character 
and, more importantly, the contributions he made to our Nation's 
security. We will miss his expertise, his infectious sense of humor 
and, most importantly, his friendship.
  Mr. President, before I yield, I would like to turn to Senator Blunt.
  Mr. BLUNT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
  I certainly agree with and really understand and appreciate all the 
comments the chairman just made about

[[Page S2459]]

Matt Pollard. He was the person I worked most closely with in the intel 
community. He served his country his whole adult life. He loved his 
country. He loved his work. He understood the importance of protecting, 
advancing, and defending who we are.
  The chairman pointed out his real dedication to his son. Often, Matt 
would come over to my office for a topline indication of what we were 
going to be doing when we got to the Intel Committee. Since you really 
can't talk about that until you get to the Intel Committee, a sure way 
to get a good conversation going was to say: Tell me about that son of 
yours. He would have chapter and verse of what had happened in the last 
few days of the things he was doing with Brad.
  He was really appreciated by his coworkers. I talked to the Chaplain 
yesterday. He went to see our Intel team moments after they found out 
about the loss of Matt Pollard, and the Chaplain was impressed by the 
emotional sense of loss this whole team felt.
  He knew more about his area of expertise than anybody on our staff. 
We will miss that, but we will mostly miss him. We are grateful for his 
service, grateful for his dedication to his country and his son and the 
future of both his country and his family.
  I yield back to the chairman.
  Mr. BURR. I thank my colleague Senator Blunt.
  Mr. President, we are saddened, but we are blessed. We are saddened 
at the loss, and we are blessed that we participated in a small part of 
Matt Pollard's life on Earth.
  I yield back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, we are about to vote on cloture on the 
nomination for Secretary of State. I, once again, just to summarize, 
express my opposition to Mike Pompeo serving as this Nation's top 
  As I said earlier this week in committee, I am genuinely disappointed 
to be casting a vote against the Secretary of State nominee. I believe 
the United States needs an effective leader on the global stage, but at 
the end of the day, as I considered Director Pompeo's nomination, 
including his hearing, his past statements, and recent revelations, I 
have lingering concerns, which I outlined in detail yesterday on the 
floor and will not go through in detail here again.
  I do want to say, though, in listening to the remarks of some of my 
colleagues this week, I was struck by how easily some characterize 
legitimate concerns about a nominee as a purely partisan act. I was 
struck by suggestions that somehow Democrats obstructed this 
  Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee agreed to every request 
of the chairman in the process of considering this nomination. We held 
hearings on the date the chairman requested. We held the business 
meeting to vote on the nomination on the date the chairman requested. 
We sent the nomination to the floor. Yesterday, we had an opportunity 
to debate the nomination on the Senate floor, and today we will vote. 
That is not obstruction. That is a fair and appropriate process--agreed 
on in a cooperative manner.
  Democrats have worked with Republicans in a constructive manner to 
confirm a wide range of nominations. We voted for the President's 
nominees for Cabinet members. Nikki Haley was confirmed as the U.N. 
Ambassador, 96 to 4; John Kelly was confirmed as the Secretary of 
Homeland Security, 88 to 11; and Deputy Secretary of State John 
Sullivan was confirmed, 94 to 6. This body confirmed Secretary of 
Defense Mattis by a vote of 98 to 1--98 to 1.
  It seems Republicans complain about Democratic votes only when they 
don't get what they want. I would say it is the President who is 
politicizing many of these nominees by nominating people he must know 
cannot draw broad bipartisan support. There are many qualified 
candidates this President could have nominated for this critical 
position, whom I am sure my colleagues and I--as well as others--would 
have been happy to confirm.
  Let me close by providing more actual facts. In the Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee alone, we have sent 86 nominees to the Senate 
floor, and 77 of them have been confirmed, mostly through unanimous 
consent. It is the Trump administration that has failed to keep pace on 
nominations. Of the 172 Senate-confirmed positions at the State 
Department, our Embassies, and USAID, the Trump administration has not 
nominated anyone to fill 76 of those vacancies. They include 
ambassadorial vacancies left unfilled, which include critical countries 
of great strategic importance like South Korea, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, 
Saudi Arabia, Sweden, South Africa, and Turkey.
  The committee had agreed to hold a nomination hearing for three 
nominees just this past week, when the administration asked that the 
hearing be indefinitely postponed. Let us not forget that Republican 
leadership can bring up any nominee on the floor at any time they 
choose. This suggestion that not supporting a nominee you believe is 
unqualified is a purely partisan act is ridiculous, based upon the 
facts. What is partisan is to hold up a qualified nominee for Justice 
to the Supreme Court, like Merrick Garland for 295 days, without a 
hearing or even a vote. So please save me the sanctimonious voices of 
this question of partisanship.
  It is the article I right of this body to vet nominees and cast the 
vote they think is correct. I believe strongly that the Congress plays 
a vital role in the check and balance of any executive branch, and I 
believe that regardless of who is sitting in the White House. That is 
what article I is all about.
  I close simply by saying, we will continue working to advance those 
nominees who are qualified. We will continue to work with the chairman, 
as we have, and we will support those nominees who truly are qualified. 
Even if we do not agree, we certainly want to be of support in the 
mission to make sure America is safe and secure.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. CORKER. Mr. President, I thank the ranking member for, as he 
mentioned, allowing this process to go forward and for our being able 
to vote on this nominee today. I think all of us are aware that there 
is a NATO summit where foreign ministers are going to be present. Our 
passing him out today will allow Director Pompeo, Secretary of State 
Pompeo, to be a participant in a meeting that needs to take place. So I 
thank him for his cooperation and, certainly, for his point of view.
  Let me offer a different point of view, though, as it relates to this 
  I think he is one of the most outstanding nominees we could have for 
this position. I did not know him well when the process began. I knew 
he had done a very good job as the Director of the Central Intelligence 
Agency. Yet I have to tell you that through the process of his going 
through the confirmation hearings and the conversations we have had and 
the meetings we have had, I think he is going to be exemplary. Let me 
just go through his resume briefly as I know people are here, ready to 
  He graduated first in his class at West Point. He served our Nation 
in uniform and patrolled the Iron Curtain. It was there that he learned 
about diplomacy and the effect that diplomacy can have on the world. 
What I have found from those individuals who have worn the uniform, 
from those people we hold on a pedestal like our Presiding Officer, is 
that they respect diplomacy more than most anyone else because they 
know it is the thing that keeps our men and women from being in harm's 
way. I know this nominee believes strongly in the role of diplomacy and 
has seen it in action firsthand on the ground.
  After serving in the military, he graduated from Harvard Law School, 
where he was the editor of the Harvard Law Review. He then founded his 
own company, acting as the CEO. He became the president of another 
company after that. So he has served in the private sector. He was 
elected four times in Kansas to represent the Fourth District in the 
U.S. House of Representatives.
  Let me just say this. Sometimes people say things when they are in 
public office and when they are running campaigns, and I know something 
has been said about that. I will say we confirmed Secretary Kerry and 
Secretary Clinton by 94 votes, and I can assure you that during their 
campaigns, they may have said some things that Republicans didn't 
particularly care for. Yet

[[Page S2460]]

we went ahead and confirmed them with 94 votes on the floor.
  For the last 15 months, he has served our Nation as the Director of 
the Central Intelligence Agency. I think everyone knows how he has run 
that Agency, and I think everyone knows the culture that he has built 
there. Right now, the State Department has a terrible culture. The 
morale is terrible. As my friend the ranking member mentioned, a lot of 
positions have not been filled, but they also feel like they have not 
had a leader in some time who has really stood behind them and raised 
them up in order to leverage our diplomatic efforts around the world. I 
believe this particular nominee will be excellently suited for that. He 
has demonstrated that at the CIA.
  I strongly support his nomination. With that, I look forward to the 
vote. I look forward to his serving our Nation. I don't know of a 
person in the United States of America who could have more current 
knowledge about what is happening around the world in his current role. 
As we know, he has already met with the North Koreans. We have known 
for some time that the CIA has been our contact, our back channel, with 
the North Koreans. He is the perfect person to come in at this time and 
lead those efforts diplomatically.
  I yield the floor.
  I also yield back any remaining time.

                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Pursuant to rule XXII, the Chair lays before 
the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the clerk will state.
  The assistant bill clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination 
     of Mike Pompeo, of Kansas, to be Secretary of State.
         Mitch McConnell, Orrin G. Hatch, Todd Young, John Cornyn, 
           Bill Cassidy, John Boozman, Deb Fischer, David Perdue, 
           James Lankford, Roger F. Wicker, John Thune, Tom 
           Cotton, Mike Rounds, Roy Blunt, James M. Inhofe, Thom 
           Tillis, Bob Corker.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on the 
nomination of Mike Pompeo, of Kansas, to be Secretary of State, shall 
be brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Arizona (Mr. McCain).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Kennedy). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 57, nays 42, as follows:

                       [Rollcall Vote No. 83 Ex.]




     Cortez Masto
     Van Hollen

                             NOT VOTING--1

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 57, the nays are 
  The motion is agreed to.
  Under the previous order, all postcloture time is expired.
  The question is, Will the Senate advise and consent to the Pompeo 
  Mr. HATCH. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Arizona (Mr. McCain).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sasse). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 57, nays 42, as follows:

                       [Rollcall Vote No. 84 Ex.]




     Cortez Masto
     Van Hollen

                             NOT VOTING--1

  The nomination was confirmed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the motion to 
reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table and the President 
will be immediately notified of the Senate's action.