Washington, D.C.- Today, Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Peace and Security Task Force Chair Congresswoman Barbara Lee sent a letter to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations urging them to reject the nomination of Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State. The Caucus first called on the Senate to oppose Pompeo’s nomination in a statement, highlighting his blatant Islamophobia and penchant for pursuing military action instead of diplomacy:
The following members signed on to the letter: CPC Co-Chair Rep. Rául M. Grijalva (D-AZ), CPC Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), CPC Peace and Security Taskforce Chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), CPC First Vice Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), CPC Vice Chair Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), CPC Vice Chair Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), CPC Vice Chair Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), CPC Vice Chair Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-MA), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Rep. Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D-VA), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Rep. Anthony G Brown (D-NY), Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Rep. José E. Serrano (D-NY), Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA), Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA), and Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT).
The full letter can be found here.
Dear Chairman Corker and Ranking Member Menendez:
We write to express our deep concerns about the nomination and possible confirmation of Mike Pompeo to serve as the new Secretary of State. Mike Pompeo has an alarming hardline record in favor of the use of military force instead of diplomacy that is of great concern given the fact that the security challenges we face around the world do not have military solutions.
As the current CIA Director, Mr. Pompeo has expressed deeply hawkish and ideological views in a position that requires non-partisanship and ideological neutrality. Additionally, Pompeo has been a staunch defender of President Trump and in some cases allegedly politicized intelligence to benefit the president. For example, as CIA Director he inaccurately stated that the United States intelligence community had determined that Russia interference did not affect the outcome of the 2016 election. During his tenure on the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Pompeo also politicized the hacking of emails that had been stolen from the Democratic National Committee. Given this, one could rightfully question whether Mr. Pompeo cares more about defending and protecting President Trump than securing and protecting our democracy.
As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Pompeo deeply opposed the Iran Deal and expressed shameful displays of anti-Muslim sentiments. Such views will undermine Pompeo’s ability to advance American values abroad and be a credible partner to our international allies. With a little over one month before the President will need to reissue sanction waivers to maintain U.S. compliance with the Iran Deal, confirming Mr. Pompeo will empower President Trump to unilaterally withdraw from the nuclear accord, inching us closer to an unnecessary war with Iran.
Furthermore, at a time when our nation needs to prepare for high-level, diplomatic talks with North Korea, the appointment of Mr. Pompeo signals a lack of urgency, commitment to, and understanding of, diplomacy. Mr. Pompeo not only has little experience as a diplomat and negotiator, but also has expressed little interest in diplomacy with North Korea. Instead, Pompeo has stated strong support for regime change as the only way to resolve the challenges posed by North Korea. Such a strategy would have untold national security, human and financial costs that would threaten to destabilize the entire region.
Mr. Pompeo’s fundamental lack of understanding of foreign policy and warmongering attitude will only weaken American leadership around the world. Indeed, his support for unauthorized U.S. hostilities in Syria and the Saudi-led war in Yemen is a threat to the Constitution and Congressional oversight duties. His indifference or inability to act as a check on the president, coupled with his dangerously hawkish views on national security and foreign policy make Mr. Pompeo unfit to be our chief diplomat.
We strongly urge the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to vote no on nomination of Mike Pompeo. Instead, we urge the committee to only advance nominees for the State Department who have seasoned track records of respecting and championing human rights, international law, and diplomacy to solve the world’s challenges.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.