Murphy, Markey, Grassley, Van Hollen

Executive Session (Pompeo Nomination)

Senator Murphy: (4:35 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "But I tried to give Director Pompeo a way out of that overly broad answer. I said, could you identify for me one limiting factor, one limiting factor on this broad claim of Article II authority. He could not. He couldn't articulate one definable, articulated restraint on Article II military authority before the Foreign Relations Committee. And it speaks to what I think is a belief inside this administration that is now being buoyed by people like Director Pompeo and John Bolton that the president has virtually unlimited authority to begin military operations overseas. If you can attack the Syrian regime without any authorization from Congress, then why couldn't the president launch a military attack against North Korea without coming to Congress in the way that John Bolton has recommended in some of his writings before joining the administration?"


Senator Markey: (4:53 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "Mr. Pompeo was okay characterizing an Indian American political opponent as, quote, just another turbine topper we don't need in this Congress or any political office that deals with the U.S. Constitution, Christianity, and the United States of America. With a viewpoint like that, how can he credibly represent the millions of Indian Americans in the United States? Equally important, how can the United States be viewed credibly by India's 1.3 billion people, the world's largest democracy, a critical American partner in promoting American values and ideals in Asia in the face of a rising and evermore aggressive China? Sadly, that display of intolerance wasn't Mr. Pompeo's only past offense."


Senator Grassley: (5:04 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "When I talk to our allies, they're anxious to see him on the job. Unfortunately, some on the other side of the aisle are now claiming that he's not suited for the post of secretary of state because of all things like positions he took as a member of Congress or his holding to traditional Christian teachings, just as if a person's religion ought to have something to say about their being in public office or public service. Others have spoken about that, and I don't have a whole lot more to add on that point. I would note the irony, though, that many of the senators who are most likely to vote against cabinet nominees are also rumored to have presidential ambitions. They should ask then themselves if they truly want to live with the precedent that they're setting."


Senator Van Hollen: (5:32 p.m.)

  • Spoke on nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "Despite that consensus even among the president's current team, the president is talking about recklessly shredding the agreement. As President Macron of France warned us today, such a move would be very reckless, and it would be reckless to replace what we have today without having something to substitute for it. Now, Mr. Pompeo has weighed in on this issue over the years. It's not only that he's been a fierce opponent of the Iran deal, he has proposed military strikes against Iran, saying in 2014 that it would take, quote, under 2,000 sorties to destroy the Iranian nuclear capacity. This is not an insurmountable task, he said, for the coalition forces. Unquote."