J Street Statement:

SENATE COMMITTEE VOTE ON POMPEO AN ABDICATION OF CONGRESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY & AMERICAN VALUES

April 23, 2018

Today’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote to confirm CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State is distressing sign of the current Congress’ abdication of its constitutional duty to serve as a check on the president.

On a party-line vote, the committee recommended confirmation of a uniquely unsuited and ill-qualified candidate to become America’s top diplomat. Even in an administration known for its fundamental hostility to diplomacy, Pompeo stands out as a hawkish ideologue and an extreme advocate for the use of military force. He called for the use of military force against Iran even in the midst of productive negotiations and has promoted the doctrine of ‘regime change’ -- a recipe for another destructive war in the Middle East.

Even more disqualifying, however, is Director Pompeo’s well-known record of expressing hateful, bigoted views. The Anti-Defamation League was one of many organizations noting his stridently anti-Muslim views and “close ties to groups that have trafficked in anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.” That kind of ideology and rhetoric should have no place anywhere in our government -- let alone in the office of America’s top diplomat. Even when confronted about his past comments in his nomination hearing, Pompeo chose not to correct course or apologize for them.

To those senators so inclined to overlook and ignore Pompeo’s disgracefully prejudiced views: Would you support him if he said about Jews what he said about Muslims?

Lawmakers from both parties have both a constitutional and a moral duty to protect this country from the harm caused by an incompetent president to US security and standing in the world. Today, 11 members of the committee subordinated that duty to political convenience by supporting someone for chief diplomat who encourages the president’s worst instincts. We strongly urge these lawmakers to reconsider.