VIDEO: In Senate Floor Speech, Senator Murray urges colleagues to vote no on President Trump’s Secretary of State nominee

Senator Murray expresses deep concern over Director Pompeo’s dismal record on women’s rights and questions his ability to tell President Trump ‘no’

 

Senator Murray: “We need a Secretary of State who will be a strong advocate and continue our legacy of leadership fighting for women’s health, reproductive freedom, and the rights of women and girls across the world…I’m afraid Director Pompeo would undo much of that legacy”

 

Senator Murray: President Trump “desperately needs someone who can tell him when he’s wrong. Who can stand up to him and be a check on this president’s worst impulses…Director Pompeo failed to convince me that he is that person”

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) spoke on the Senate floor to outline the reasons why she would oppose CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to be Secretary of State, the country’s top diplomat. The full Senate is expected to vote on Director Pompeo’s nomination as soon as this week.

 

Excerpts from Senator Murray’s floor speech as prepared for delivery:

 

This position is too important and the stakes are too high to let this nominee slide by without a full consideration of what it would mean for Director Pompeo to be our nation’s top diplomat—the person whose every word and action broadcasts America’s values to the rest of the world.

 

Our nation has an important role to uphold as a global champion of women’s rights. We need a Secretary of State who will be a strong advocate and continue our legacy of leadership fighting for women’s health, reproductive freedom, and the rights of women and girls across the world. Instead, I’m afraid Director Pompeo would undo much of that legacy, and undermine much of the global progress we have made.

 

The president not only needs good counsel navigating our complex global relationships, he also desperately needs someone who can tell him when he’s wrong. Who can stand up to him and be a check on this president’s worst impulses. Throughout his nomination process, Director Pompeo failed to convince me that he is that person.

 

 

Senator Murray’s floor speech as prepared for delivery:

Thank you. I come to the floor today to voice my strong opposition to Director Pompeo’s nomination to be our next Secretary of State.

This position is too important and the stakes are too high to let this nominee slide by without a full consideration of what it would mean for Director Pompeo to be our nation’s top diplomat—the person whose every word and action broadcasts America’s values to the rest of the world.

Some of my opposition concerns Director Pompeo’s harsh views on matters of war and peace and his blatantly false accusations regarding members of the Muslim community. Some of my opposition surrounds my deep concern about Director Pompeo’s ability to stand strong against President Trump’s erratic and uninformed foreign policy positions.

But I want to take a few minutes to express my serious concern about what Director Pompeo’s ideological, extreme positions on women’s rights and reproductive freedom would mean for women across the world.

Our nation has an important role to uphold as a global champion of women’s rights. We need a Secretary of State who will be a strong advocate and continue our legacy of leadership fighting for women’s health, reproductive freedom, and the rights of women and girls across the world.

Instead, I’m afraid Director Pompeo would undo much of that legacy, and undermine much of the global progress we have made. An advocate for women doesn’t repeatedly support the Global Gag Rule which keeps funding from clinics and programs that provide women important medical care–Director Pompeo did.

An advocate for women doesn’t vote to defund the United Nations Population Fund which provides family planning services for women around the world living in poverty—Director Pompeo did.

And when it comes to fighting for the survivors of rape and against those who would use rape as a tool of war, it is clear we should stand by survivors, fight for them, and work to make sure they have access to the medical care they need. However, Director Pompeo has said he would prevent women who have been raped from accessing abortions. That is an unacceptably cruel response to women and war survivors. And it is one of many clear indicators that Director Pompeo is an unacceptable choice to serve as Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State position is always a critically important position. But it takes on even more meaning in 2018. The president not only needs good counsel navigating our complex global relationships, he also desperately needs someone who can tell him when he’s wrong. Who can stand up to him and be a check on this president’s worst impulses.

Throughout his nomination process, Director Pompeo failed to convince me that he is that person. So I will vote no on his nomination to be Secretary of State, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.

Thank you, I yield the floor.