tv U.S. Senate Sen. Hatch on Pompeo Nomination CSPAN April 25, 2018 4:30am-4:46am EDT
activists in the democratic base are clearly getting to some of these senators. but there is still time to put country above politics, national security over the next election, and principle poster posturing. i would urge all our colleagues to give this nominee the same treatment that the senate gave secretaries powell, rice, kerry, and clinton, and confirm mr. pompeo as our next secretary of state. call. the senator is recognized. mr. hatch: thank you, mr. president. as president pro tempore of the united states senate, i ask my colleagues to join us in voting swiftly and unanimously in support of mike pompeo's nomination. -- to serve as the next secretary of state. frankly, i am embarrassed by the naked partisanship that was on display during director pompeo's confirmation hearing. the director deserves better
than this. that his nomination was nearly sent to the floor without recommendation is an utter disgrace. this is a graduate of west point, a man who served our nation honorably as a cavalry officer in the united states army. this is a talented litigator who graduated from harvard law school, where he served as editor of the law review. this is an accomplished businessman, a former member of congress, and a current director of the central intelligence agency. this is a man who is qualified to serve in every respect. and yet some of my colleagues wanted to block director pompeo's nomination on the grounds that he supports our president. give me a break! to these colleagues i say, enough. enough of the partisan games.
enough of the political grandstanding and self-serving sank money. -- sanctimony. delaying this nomination undermines the esteem of this body and the very safety our nation. obstructing director pompeo's confirmation would be a significant break from the bipartisan process that has characterized these kind of nominations in the past -- over my past 42 years. for example, when president obama nominated hillary clinton to serve as secretary of state, republicans and democrats set aside their differences without delay, confirming her nomination almost unanimously with a vote of 94-2. just four years later the senate did so again when we confirmed john kerry with a vote of 94-3. as republicans, did we disagree with secretary clinton and secretary kerry's views on a
wide range of issues? absolutely. but did those disagreements prevent us from confirming two preeminently qualified nominees? absolutely not. as a case in point, when secretary kerry was confirmed in january of 2013, the syrian civil war was raging and many of us strongly disagreed with the obama administration's policies in the middle east. to my frustration and that of all my republican colleagues, it seemed that secretary kerry's syria policy differed little from his predecessor's. but rather than turning our dissenting votes into destructive votes, we voted against -- we voted almost unanimously for his confirmation. there was an understanding at the time that you paid deference to the president's nominees, even if you disagreed with them on certain policies.
today that custom is under siege. it's under threat. if we're not careful, in the future, partisanship will surely get the best of all of us. the partisan abandon with which some approach director pompeo's nomination is something that i fear the founding fathers would never have imagined, much less condoned. if we continue down this perilous path, a dangerous precedent will take root making any nomination under any president at any time all but impossible. our role as legislators is to challenge the views of our nominees and to hold them accountable. it is not, however, to discredit, defame, and destroy the reputation of a sitting cabinet official. nor is it to prevent from serving a man who is so montana i festally qualified to serve.
to engage in such political games at a time morning hour nation facing growing threats abroad, it is not only irresponsible, but it's dangerous. so, mr. president, i say to my colleagues one last time, confirm director pompeo. he has proven himself as director of the c.i.a. one of the most demanding, high pressure jobs in government. he knows the world and its secrets better than virtually anyone. moreover, he understands the scale of the threats facing the united states. i know that. i was -- i think i still been in the past the longest serving member of the senate intelligence committee. perhaps most importantly, he has earned the love and trust of the people he serves boosting the morale of the agency and reinvigorating its sense of purpose and mission.
we're in desperate need of someone who can do the same at the state department. already director pompeo has demonstrated that he has the diplomatic skill to lead the state department. setting the stage for negotiations between president trump and mr. kim by establishing a back channel line of negotiation with north korea, he's also helped foster good relations with our foreign partners, a necessary skill for someone serving as our nation's top diplomat. simply put, there is no reason under the sun that director pompeo should not receive every last vote in this chamber. mr. president, the way we treated director pompeo by nearly sending him to this floor without a recommendation was shameful indeed. the reputation of the senate would have been tarnished were
it not for the last-minute intervention of a few of my colleagues and in particular, senator chris coons for whom i have great admiration. he thinks for himself. i wanted to recognize senator coons today and thank him for his leadership. in a display of both compassion and bipartisanship, senator coons switched his no vote to present ultimately allowing director pompeo to secure a favorable recommendation. senator coons did so as a gesture to senator isakson who could not be present for the vote because he was delivering a eulogy at his best friend's funeral. mr. president, this simple act of bipartisanship reminds me of the senate i used to know. the institution that lived worthy of its name and reputation as the world's greatest deliberative body.
senator coons' vote brought us back from the precipice overlooking a partisan abyss. it was a timely reminder that this body is at its best when we put comity and respect head of partisanship. senator coons' gesture was characteristic of the person i know him to be, a class act, a loyal friend, and a true gentleman of the senate. may we all take a cue from yesterday's bipartisan display. our treatment of director compay crow in committee was embarrassing to say the least but now we have a second chance. now we have the opportunity to set things right by voting unanimously for his confirmation. i really urge all of my colleagues to do what's best for the senate and the nation by voting in favor of director pompeo's nomination. let's get rid of this total partisanship around here. and i think both sides are to
blame in some respects so not me to just be picking on democrats here today. but when somebody of the quality of director pompeo is seeing this type of treatment on the floor of the united states senate, my gosh, what are we becoming? all i can say is it's not right. this is a chance to reform and make it right. i hope we'll do that. i hope we'll do that. but if we don't, we've got to find a way of getting together. we've got to find a way of supporting whoever is president fowho nominates people who are qualified and who are good people, regardless of whether we agree wit ideologically. the fact of the matter is, this senate has become a very partisan body. there are times to be partisan.
there's no question about that. all of us have felt those times from time to time. but my gosh, should we be this partisan on somebody like secretary pompeo who clearly is one of the finest nominees that i've seen in the whole time i've been in the united states sena senate. i hope my colleagues on both sides will vote for him and give him the respect, the support, and the help that he's going to need in this position. we all know he's going to be confirmed. the question is, will he be confirmed with the support of all of us senators who really think of these things and who really care for our country, who really believe in bipartisansh bipartisanship, and really believe that regardless of differences of politics and