tv Senate Foreign Relations Committee Votes 11-10 on Secretary of State... CSPAN January 26, 2017 5:30am-6:32am EST
announcer: the senate met to consider rex tillerson's nomination. members voted 7-10 to move the it to the full senate for a confirmation vote. this meeting is about one hour. >> the foreign relation business meeting will come to order. we all consider it a privilege. it is a privilege to participate in this way. i hope everyone will keep their thoughts to themselves. we thank you so much for being here today and being part of this. we really do. confirmation of secretary of state is one of this committee's most important responsibilities. at the core of the nomination process is the question of whether the nominee is qualified to
undertake the duties for which he or she is nominated. i personally have no doubt rex tillerson is well-qualified. he has managed the world's eighth largest company. diplomacy has been a critical component of is positions in the past and he has shown himself to be an exceptionally able negotiator and he is able to maintain deep relationships throughout the world. we also have to ensure their are no conflicts of interest. the nonpartisan office of government ethics recently stated that rex tillerson is making a clean break from exxon and is free of conflicts. he is even gone so far as to say rex tillerson's ethics serve as a sterling model to what we would like to see him
other nominees. he clearly recognizes public service comes at a cost. i believe mr. tillerson's nominations have been fair and the hearings fair. he is responded to over 100 questions. i am proud of the bipartisan process. it is in keeping with history that we have pursued the nomination with this. while our opinions may differ,the process has been sound. i would like to recognize senator carter. >> as i said before and i repeat again, i want to thank the committee for the fairness and allowing his confirmation hearings to go forward. to ask additional questions for mr. illerson. i thank you for your
fairness including the ability to schedule today's business session. a couple preliminaries. i want to note there are severe weather conditions throughout the country preventing some of our members from being here. for example, senator murphy had planned to be here. his flight was canceled. he is on a train heading toward washington as we speak and he will not get her for a couple more hours. i wanted to point that out. because of the weather onditions some are not able to be here. we're trying to work ut plans. so that some can change their proxy vote to their vote in person later on as long as they get here by this evening. a couple points, one is there was an honest
disagreement between the german and the ranking member as to whether a nominee for secretary state and u.n. ambassador should be required to make available to our committee three-year tax returns. they agreed, the question is whether we should ask to see them. i accept it is a different view between the chairman and ranking member. the president -- the precedent of our committee has been to not physically request those tax returns. mr. chairman, i respect that and degree that should be done in greater order. i will ask at a time when it is appropriate that we look at our rules as to whether we should be asking that in the future. whether there should be and ability for us to ask for those tax returns moving orward. i ask if it be taken up as a committee as to whether
t is appropriate or not. and i must tell you that members of this committee have asked questions for the record of mr. tillerson and i have looked at some of those responses and they are not responses to the uestions that were asked. in some cases it is challenging when you have a change in the administration and there is not clarity as to what the president is looking for to give -- get the nominee to give us a clear answer. in other cases, the information requested is pretty straightforward. we are not asking for a delay in today's vote but i would ask for help. there's no need to respond right now but a chance for this
nominees vote on the floor of the united states senate to try to get further clarification for the answers. i will work with the chairman that these equests are reasonable so we can get the answers before the vote on the floor and i think we could shorten the time on the floor. otherwise it may take longer because we may want to go into some of those issues on the floor of the senate. so having said that, let me proceed with the nomination of mr. tillerson and his merits. he is certainly sincere in wanting to serve his country. i admire that. he is talented and has negotiation skills. very important for the person who would become secretary of state and i acknowledge that. he also indicated a couple points i thought were useful. the united states should be at the table
and it would be important to comply with current law. but, what gives me the greatest concern. the reason i do not support his nomination for secretary, it gives me the greatest cause that -- the greatest spas -- pause is that i do not believe his business background where support for sanctions or how he would evaluate sanctions moving forward or how he would deal with contingencies on development assistance as it relates to good governance. somebody times he qualified that, he sounded like a business person rather than a person who wanted to be secretary of state. i did not see a commitment to be the advocate globally for human rights and good governance i would like to see in a secretary of state. that was
the greatest concern. when i make it specific to russia, the questions i asked about how he would continue sanctions against russia and support bipartisan legislation that would sanction -- strengthen those sanctions, i did not get a comfort level that it would be based against brescia conduct against the united states. their attacks on us and the fact they are still violating ukraine's sovereignty. it seemed like he was wanting to consider other issues that may compromise u.s. lobal leadership in standing up to russia. that concerned me. i top of that, the clarity issues. i think this was an important point. i contrast that to governor haley's esponse on questions such as russia's participation in atrocities in syria. would that be elevated? mr. tillerson was
not clear at all. governor haley was very clear. when i asked mr. tillerson about the conduct of the president of the philippines, and extrajudicial killings which was pretty clear. he would not characterize that as growth violations of human breaks. that causes me serious concern. let me amplify that further in another question that was asked. mr. tillerson responded to a question in regards to opening up business relationships with cuba, that that would be helping to finance a repressive regime. he was pretty clear about his concerns about business with cuba being supportive of a repressive regime but he showed o sensitivity that exxon
mobil's business interests in russia was helping to finance the vladimir putin regime or other repressive regimes. one last point on this issue concerning russia which had me oncerned about mr. tillerson and that is his potential conflicts. he indicated that he would recuse himself from dealing with anything concerning exxon mobil for a ne-year time period and he would consider going beyond that of the ethics leaders said there was legally a problem. quite frankly, i think there is a problem of mr. tillerson dealing with anything dealing with exxon mobil for the entire time he was in public services secretary of state and he was not clear at all about recusing himself beyond that one year
per iod. so mr. chairman, for all of those reasons i am not for his nomination. one more point, that is secretary of state is a principal leader in this country. on several of the questions we asked him about current world events, he was quick to point out that he would recognize -- recommend the use of military force rather the n leading with diplomacy. one example was in the south china sea where he said we should be more military will stop whereas -- we should be more military. in my view, the secretary of state should be leading with more diplomacy and i found it disturbing that that seemed to be not his first reaction and we certainly ould
willing to stay and keep the record people to speak and i'm going to stay so people a common late can vote and person and not by proxy. i am glad to do that at least until 5:15 to make sure people are not just voting by proxy. i am wondering if there are any objections to us voting and letting those who do not want to stay and make comments leave. others will come in. we will keep the boat open. those who wish to make comments could stay and those who do not wish to make comments could go ahead and leave. any objection? >> i was not aware. some of my members would like to make their comments before the boat is opened. -- before the voting is open. by there any other members who want to be heard before we start the voting? >> let me say one other thing. you sure we cannot have want him to do that as secretary of state. so for all of those reasons i will be voting against western tillerson's confirmation. >> i wonder if we could do this. we have a number of members who have other things to do. i am willing to stay and keep the record people to speak and i'm going to stay so people a common late can vote and person and not by proxy. i am glad to do that at least until 5:15 to make sure people are not just voting by proxy. i am wondering if there are any objections to us voting and letting those who do not want to stay and make comments leave. others will come in. we will keep the boat open. those who wish to make comments could stay and those who do not wish to make comments could go ahead and leave. any objection? >> i was not aware. some of my members would like to make their comments before the boat is opened. -- before the voting is open. by there any other members who want to be heard before we start the voting? >> let me say one other thing. you ure we cannot have i would like to say that what we're doing as it relates to tax returns is exactly what we're doing what we've done for ten years on this committee.
now it just takes 51 votes. that was a big mistake i think but that's the way things are now. so now we're looking at changing the rules at some point. i hope that doesn't happen. because again most of are used for gotcha questions have othing to do with service. ï»¿i hope we can talk about that but please note these two nominees, or this nominee and
the one we would deal with tomorrow, these were dealt with the exact same way we have done on this committee for 10 years and just because we were so overly helpful to the obama administration and getting nominees out does not mean i want to be unhelpful or treat our nominee, and these coming in differently. i would like to get that straight. what mr. tillerson said was he would be glad to provide tax information regarding the three years. at the kind of questions in a been asked, i will accommodate some additional questions being asked by asking about cutting horses on his ranch is a ridiculous question. so, i do not know what happened all of a sudden in this committee where we are asking silly, silly, silly, ridiculous, elementary questions that have nothing to do with somebody serving as secretary of state. that i am willing to accommodate some of that. >> i ould like to interrupt for a moment. we have accommodated the first available time for hearings, voting sessions, etc.. as i am sure the charm and is aware, we could have demanded five days before a nominee could be considered, which means mr. tillerson could not be considered yet. >> i assure you the questions i am asking are not silly questions. let me go beyond that. i do not
think it is up to either the chairman or the breaking member to take away from any member to ask what they want to ask. this goes back to the record of this committee, each member has the right to ask what they want to ask. >> and we will accommodate the answering of those questions to the extent we can. we always have. with that, is there any republican that needs to speak? senator menendez. >> thank you mr. chairman. just a quick -- i think the remarks were that we were looking to do this prospectively so there is no issue of looking at it as it relates to these nominees and that is unfair. i do think when you have very large holdings that can affect your judgment if you are in the position that it is of importance to this
committee, to the senate, to know that and use it as an additional judgment. so i've been totally favor. the reason the roles actually preview and asked the question are you willing to submit information must be because that is a etiquette to when it is a message to -- a necessity to ask for that. let me go to mr. tillerson. i will be concise but i do want to say a few hings. after considering his nomination for secretary of state i will be casting my vote against him today. for the 11 years i have served on the senate for relation committee, i have taken the advice and onsent of nominees seriously and while considering hundreds of nominations for both democratic and republican administrations, even where i disagreed with the nominee views, especially when they
were just as housing the views of a nomination -- administration, i have often considered them if other qualifications were mad. i respect mr. tillerson's experience and willingness to serve but after our private meeting and lengthy confirmation process i am deeply troubled by a number of mr. tillerson's responses. i am not convinced mr. tillerson shares the worldview that the united states foreign policy must be rooted and what strengthens us. democracy, upholding the rule of law, human rights. as i said during his hearing, business dealmaking is not diplomacy and i remain doubtful mr. tillerson went fully embrace a wide-ranging policy to strengthen our alliances and confront our adversaries. it is not the type of more clarity i would have liked to hear him espouse. additionally, believe mr. tillerson was not entirely forthcoming in his response to
my questions about his personal and exxon mobil's lobbying against sanctions. one of the most powerful rules and our arsenal of peaceful democratic levers and many of which i personally written. if i am to vote affirmatively for a nominee, i need honest and transparent answers. i simply do not feel i got them from mr. tillerson on these questions. finally, as i set of the hearing, at a time when russia's continuing aggression around the world and interference in our election must be at the top of american diplomatic agenda and our chief concern to secretary of state, it is an -- incredibly tillerson -- incredibly troubling that mr. tillerson and president trump have not discuss the details. i do not know how you choose the position of secretary of state when you do not have a global
conversation and do not even talk about russia, aleppo and hat is happening in syria. i believe mr. tillerson lacks a sufficient knowledge or regard of the norms in necessities that so much of our modern security efforts depend on and i believe the american put -- people deserve an advocate for all and i did not get this from this candidate in the coming confirmation. >> thank you. i want to follow up on what the senator made reference to. in my repeated questioning of mr. tillerson with regard to his holdings on exxon mobil, not personally, but the holdings of exxon mobil inside of the country of russia. he refused
to commit to recusing himself from all matters related to exxon mobil for the duration of the time he would be secretary of state. at the time of which mr. tillerson took over as ceo of exxon mobil they had very of exxon mobil they had very small holdings in russia. today, exxon mobil holds an area that is the size of wyoming for drilling purposes inside of russia. that is a fundamental conflict of interest. i would feel a lot more comfortable of mr. tillerson would agree to recuse himself from any matter related to exxon mobil for the duration of his time as secretary of state. he has refused to do so. during his time as ceo of exxon mobil of the company opposed the sanctions on rush of that would hamper the business activity of business -- bubble
exxon inside the country so i think it is fundamental that r. tillerson just recuse himself he can is the american people have a right to know it is there interest and not exxon mobil interest that are going to be advanced by these huge decisions that will be made over the next several years. the state department, the white house, for that reason i will cast a no vote for his nomination. >> thank you. i am more than glad to stay here and deep the meeting open for other comments for members with other usiness. the motion before us, i will ask a rollcall vote for >> tillerson to be secretary of state. if the clerk will call the roll. >> i will be casting some proxy votes for members.
>> that is exactly right. we will keep it open instead of 5:15 to five: 30. >> in particular i would ask if they ould replace the vote in person if that would be possible. >> we will attempt to accommodate that short of me sitting here until 8:00 by myself. thank you all very much for cooperating in this manner. it the clerk would call the oll. >> he will be > roll call. >> he will be here shortly. >> roll call.
>> mr. carden. no. >> mr. menendez. >> no. >> ms. shaheen. >> no. >> mr. coons. >> no. >> mr. udall. >> no. >> mr. murphy. > no by proxy. >> mr. marky. >> no. >> mr. americaly. >> no. >> mr. bocker. >> no by brosmy. >> mr. chairman. > aye. >> so now we'll hold it open. >> i ask unanimous consent that the roll call be held open. >> as members if members do come in and want to vote in the middle we'll stop the speaking to allow them to do so. thank you.
bit of a departure from how things have been in the past. but i certainly respect everyone's ability to cast votes in the manner they which. senator rubio. senator rubio: let me begin by saying i think all presidents, especially the new one is -- this is evidenced by the fact that a 240 history of the republic, we have only had nine nominees voted down by the full senate. i want to add given how much uncertainty currently exists regarding the future direction of our policy, this deserves a higher level of scrutiny than tradition would dictate. i entered into these deliberations, as you said, mr. tillerson testified for over eight hours. i spent time researching and preparing for it. i had extensive
conversations with him. he is responded to 100 written questions. but, a couple things i would say. the first is the fundamental question on whether he is qualified. i believe he is. he has a proven record of managing a large, complex organization and extensive experience in international commerce. i struggled with a i strongly believe our foreign policy is at its best when it is grounded in the core values. the defense of the god-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. for me this was not merely a focus on russia which gets all the attention. my fundamental concern i grappled with this that in the face of policy we have to move our policy into a sort of hyper realism, my
concern is that mr. tillerson would be an advocate for and would pursue a foreign policy of dealmaking at the expense of traditional alliances and at the expense of human life and rights and democracy. my interactions with him in the new administration, they exhibit a high level of professionalism and responsiveness and that is important to point out. there re fronts where i remain troubled. i find it necessary to balance the answers i was troubled by with at least four sets of factors. the track record i outline. things like his support of nato. his claim that crimea claims are illegitimate. his answers on cuba, i have particularly concerned about his support of defense of armaments for
ukraine. also, the president i believe should be given significant deference in choosing cabinet officials. but one additional point that came to light in the last 72 hours or one week for me, given the anxiety that exists both here and abroad about the direction of our nation's foreign policy, i concluded it would not be good or our country to unnecessarily delay controversy over this particular nomination. i said this earlier, mr. chairman, and you were i think in agreement that as this committee moves forward to critical posts in the department of state, they will not be an title nor receive from me the same level of deference. that is why on this
nomination i have voted today, i inform him that i hope you succeed. i hope he becomes the best secretary of state this nation has ever had but i also intend to hold him accountable on the issues that i have stated here today and rain -- today and remained concerned about. you, mr. chairman. >> i appreciate the thoughtfulness and making the decision. i have heard loud and clear, in positions where you feel there is a lack of clarity on these issues, we might not be quite as forgiving, if you will. >> mr. chairman. >> i have a few comments that i would like to make. i think -- i appreciate the concerns you are raising about
the polarization on the committee about this nominee. for me, one of the things that made it so hard was the fact that rex tillerson, unlike previous secretaries of state in my memory, whether it is hillary clinton, or john kerry, or jim colin madeleine albright, thell -- they have political domain of actions they have made on the half of foreign policy issues that i could go to and say, this is how i make they might react in a given situation. we did not have that with mr. tillerson. and for me, that was the difficult thing in trying to evaluate the kind of leader i thought he would be. now i have to say, after my meeting with him, i was inclined to view his nomination favorably.
but i was very troubled by many of his responses in the hearing. reassured by what he has to say about nato and international institutions, but very troubled about his responses on human rights abuses , and on his unwillingness to acknowledge the importance for us to sanction russia. the view of this committee is that we need to take strong action against russia when they violate international norms. i hope he and the administration hears that loud and clear. i appreciated his support for women's economic empowerment, and i hope that as an engineer, he will look at the data when it comes to providing support for and familygrams planning, which we know has a very significant impact on improving the lives of women and
families and communities. i was concerned about his lack of forthrightness on exxon's dealings around lobbying and sanctions and also his unwillingness to commit clearly on the importance of two -- importance of investing in climate change. there are other issues my written remarks address, but in had too manyst concerns and questions about the kind of leadership he would provide at the state department to feel comfortable with voting for him. now, that said, i hope he is successful because it is in all -- diplomaticts efforts, foreign policy is successful and that this country is successful. i hope to work closely with him
and what the state department as we have since i have been on this committee, and i look forward to doing that, and hope that he will prove me wrong in some of my concerns. thank you. >> thank you, and i know you will have a good meeting. i think mr. tillerson is an think he and i probably doesn't know the person he is getting ready to work with very well. i imaginer of fact, he only spent a couple of hours together and sometimes people are a little reticent to get out over their skis if they don't know the person they are getting ready to work for. on the most people committee had a good meeting. would you like to record your vote? >> i would like to record a no.
>> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to echo some of the a series-- there were of positions that came up that bothered me a great deal. enron's background in lobbying against the sanctions on russia was one of them. i'm sorry, exxon, not enron. also, very concerned about the subsidiary that exxon set up to bypass our sanctions on iran. we need a secretary of state who is clear about the role of u.s. foreign-policy. when i asked him how he would respond if other companies did clearhe did not get a answer that he would work to have those companies abide in
that americanuses policymakers were pursuing with those sanctions. i am also concerned about his statements on how he responded to the questions about killings in the philippines. his company's payments to the personal family of dictator for , andin equatorial guinea his response to russia's actions in syria and the bombing of aleppo. and all of these things added up, i thought to representing answers you might expect from someone wearing their company hat, but not someone setting forth a moral compass for american leadership in the world. and that is the foundation on which i opposed him. thank you. mr. chairman: thank you. i think the question -- whate sanctions was
he tried to clarify is he did not lobby against sanctions, he theied to try to make equivalency between what we were doing here in the united states, and what was happening in europe to be more synchronized. because the european companies had advantages based on the way sanctions were put in place because they were grandfathered in as far as their activities, whereas that was not the case what the u.s. sanctions. that was a clarification that i think you try to make over and over. anyone else? >> thank you, mr. chairman. this was not a decision i made lightly. i have come to respect mr. tillerson's significant experience and relate in business leadership over a lengthy public hearing and private meetings, and i concluded he was a thoughtful and seasoned professional whose business experience would serve
him well in his role. i was encouraged by a number of his public stances. his support for the nato alliance. his respect for our leadership and multilateral initiatives, and support for development programs, especially in africa. toi remarked publicly and him, the transition of being ceo to exxon to secretary of state, given he has no previous public record, is a significantly, and one where i have heard overwhelming input from my givenconstituents about their vf his troubling ties to vladimir putin and russia given how pressing that issue is for us. his views do differ from mine and a few significant ways. i do view climate change as a pressing national security threat, and i think some of our core values in human rights and free press and promotion and democracy need to be advanced at the same time that we work for our security and our economic
interests. and i came very close to voting for mr. tillerson because of the construct a role i believe he could play. but in listening to the inaugural address a president trump, i concluded that american leadership on the world stage is not a simple as america first. i was even more concerned about a number of alarming things that the president said as a candidate on a whole range of issues from human rights to nato to climate change to russia. it is my deep hope that mr. tillerson, as secretary, will challenge president trump to rethink his isolationist and dark view of the world, and to pursue a foreign-policy that uphold our values and advances our interests. if he is successful in that
undertaking, i look forward to working closely with him and to recognize the significance transition he has made and thanking him on that. thank you mr. chairman. mr. chairman: again, i appreciate those comments. i know we had a nice conversation about this on friday. think to hold any nominee responsible for what the president-elect, president now says -- to me, what we were looking for any secretary of state is the person who is going to be up under the hood giving advice to the president. day, everyof the person is going to have to carry out nikki haley, carry out the president's policies. but what i felt we were looking for any secretary of state is someone who was going to be up
under the hood, advising the president in a way that we thought would be good for our country, not to measure them against comments at an inaugural address or during a campaign. --o think it is unfortunate and this is an observation -- that what has happened here is and in some ways turned out to be a proxy on people's feeling about our president, not vote onily a proxy or a the person who is actually coming in as secretary of state. has been. tillerson , and while certainly does not know the political things we , i do think he is a person that can be a very good anchor on the things we care about. and that was what i measured can by, not by comments made during a campaign. not by comments made at an inaugural address.
we cannot possibly hold nominees responsible for what someone else says if we happen to disagree with that. i look at it in a different way. the, andy evident to in some cases on the committee, it is really turns out to be a proxy on the election itself. it is disappointing. >> if i could respond very briefly on that. i don't think that is the case at all. i think what has been said is mr. trump is our president and be one him to succeed, and he cannot possibly manage every part of government, and his cabinet appointments are critically important to this country. they have a great deal of discretion in the way they operate their agencies. the advice and consent role of the congress or the senate is critically important to make sure these individuals are qualified for the positions they
are taking, but also give us an opportunity and the american people to understand the passion and commitment of these individuals to the rolls that they are taking -- roles that they are taking. we have seen that they have taken positions that are different than what candidate trump took. we have seen that with general madison, not --madison, now the secretary of defense. he came out very strongly opposing the nato alliance differently than what candidate trump did. i think general madison was being straightforward about his beliefs. that is why he received almost unanimous support to be confirmed as secretary of defense. we saw in mr. tillerson's case -- i think he is a good person. i think he is well-qualified
from the point of view of his business experience and his negotiating skills. but what i think troubled many when you look at the fundamental responsibility for secretary of state to promote american values, and you contrast that to some of the other nominees in the comments they were prepared to make about their passion, minority --tioned the point in regard about their passion -- i already mentioned the point in regard to work crimes with regard to aleppo. happening see what is in the philippines. or response to the question on the national registry and asked him how he felt about muslim -americans being registered, and he gave a more generic response. he did not just say it would be
wrong to not have any type of forstry for any group ethnic or religious americans. that is important to the value of our country. he did not express that. when a question was asked about the lgbt community, he cannot respond -- he could not respond because he said he was opposed to any kind of discrimination. ok. need to have a view a few you are going to be secretary of state, the world is looking upon you for leadership on these issues. we don't want to get in front of the heads of our skis. we understand mr. trump will be and is the leader on all of these issues. we understand that. but we wanted to know what the secretary of state, our future secretary of state is on these issues. i will agree with senator
shaheen. it is very likely that mr. tillerson will be confirmed to be secretary of state with the vote on this committee. most of us can do are counting, and we expect be confirmed. i can assure you, mr. chairman, this committee will play an , and the one him to succeed as secretary of state. we want him to promote the values -- i was listening carefully to sen. rubio:'s comments -- i was carefully listening to senator rubio's comments. i agreed with many of them. we will do everything we can to make sure we have a successful administration and a successful secretary of state on these issues, and we will work on them , but it is our responsibility to point out, not only to our constituents, but to the american people, that there was disappointment in the manner mr.
tillerson responded to the questions. although they may have been consistent with president trump. that was not our issue. it was not our issue to be a proxy for president trump. not at all. i intend to vote for several a president trump's nominees for confirmation. and i will be voting against some of his other nominees. it is the independent judgment on thinking about the individual heading the department and being in the room with the president, as to whether or not i think that person will speak out for the values of this country in a way that will be defective in making america move forward -- in a way that will be defective in making -- in a way that will in moving america forward. i will keep:
the committee open. we will recess so senator murphy 7:00 andl reconvene at let them vote in person during that time. with that, with that objection, we are in recess. excuse me, we are not in recess. i will wait and then we will be in recess at 7:00. you are welcome to talk to each other. it is always good to see you. as a ceo that was supporting dictators around the world, will not be secretary of state. this is a person who is going to be the highest diplomat.
and who is he? someone who promoted fossil fuels, corporate greed. and now he is talking about supporting russia. he has supported dictators all over the world. >> as a former u.s. diplomat, i think he will -- mr. chairman: you want to talk to the camera, you can do that in the hallway. thank you. >> we can talk to each other. mr. chairman: thank you. liberty of the talking amongst yourselves, you can do that. if you take advantage of it, i will ask the police officers to escort you out. love hate to do that as i seeing you here so often.
it should have definitely been no's all the way around. >> are you from kalamazoo, michigan? am from kalamazoo, michigan. it has been such a drain on the community. it all oall of this is because f people like rex tillerson. i do not understand how these think this is a normal time. it is not a normal time. it is worrying me. mr. chairman: i will ask the officer to escort you out if you cannot speak quietly to each other. if you would, ma'am.
hearing, i asked him a number of questions, including nato and .rticle 5 and ukraine i was impressed with his comment that he would support providing divisive lethal weapons -- providing defensive lethal weapons to the people of ukraine. as you know, i was impressed about what he said about nato and the commitment to not just supporting nato, but not threatening to revoke u.s. support for article 5 based on funding considerations. he said it was unconditional. and he also, in response to my question about israel and our relationship there, talking about the need to push back against the kinds of boycotts and the vestment and sanctions and legislation that senator cardin and i have fought against government is played of efforts -- have fought against in our legislative efforts.
i have decided to vote yes. i believe mr. tillerson's extensive business relationships around the world can be a positive thing for our country. again, my concern going into this for some of the issues i raised a moment ago to see where he stood. because i think those relationships and that ability to influence our national can be very helpful, or those relationships could be something that cannot promote our interest. aye today.ote mr. chairman: thank you. >> thank you, sir.
senator booker and senator murphy are both delayed because , not only onoblems the flight, but i have been told the train has also been delayed. that we do not delay the proceedings further. if they were here, they said they would vote no. mr. chairman: thank you all for your cooperation and i look for to processing this on the floor. i think we have a mark up tomorrow. tomorrow withing nikki haley with the corporate board. yays are 11. nos are 10. a business meeting tomorrow at noon. one of our members will be ranking on a small business