WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) made the following statements today after President-elect Trump nominated Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobil, as Secretary of State.

“If confirmed by the Senate, Rex Tillerson is alarmingly positioned to undermine the integrity of our State Department, erode our national legitimacy on the world stage, and recast American foreign policy as a platform to bolster corporate interests,” Rep. Grijalva said. “This nomination leaves no doubt of President-elect Trump’s willingness to put CEO relationships above all else, including qualifications. Tillerson made a career of maximizing Big Oil’s profits at any expense and glad handing authoritarian leaders like Vladimir Putin. He has placed Exxon’s bottom line above U.S. national interests in the past, raising obvious questions about who he will actually serve if confirmed as Secretary of State."

“Placing American foreign policy in the hands of corporate interests is what we’ve already seen with the President-elect’s other nominations. It’s appalling, but it’s not surprising," Rep. Ellison said. "If appointed to this post, Rex Tillerson would bring a history of putting profits above public safety. At this critical time for international action on climate change, Mr. Tillerson’s ExxonMobil is being investigated for a decades-long campaign to deceive Americans about the dangers of climate change. Why should we believe that Rex Tillerson will start looking out for the public good now? ExxonMobil stands to make billions from this nomination. And that money will come out of the American people’s pockets.”

“President-elect Trump’s nomination of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, as Secretary of State, signals that US diplomacy is now in the pockets of big oil,” Rep. Pocan said. “Tillerson has spent his entire career putting the profits of Exxon over our country’s national interests. Not only does Tillerson have billions of dollars at stake with sanctions on Russia, his company has been under a formal investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for inaccurate accounting practices that affect global climate regulations. Our country needs a Secretary of State who will guide US foreign policy with a steady hand, not place profit margins ahead of diplomacy.”

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.