Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the National Security Working Group and former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, released a statement following his vote against Rex Tillerson’s nomination to be Secretary of State.
“Secretary of State is one of the most consequential Cabinet nominations a President can make. He or she is the face of our Nation overseas, the leader of our diplomatic corps representing U.S. interests overseas and a top advisor on decisions directly impacting our national security. As a former member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I have worked with Secretaries of State from both parties to make the United States safer and more prosperous.
“Many of my constituents have expressed concerns about President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, Mr. Rex Tillerson, and I share these concerns. I carefully reviewed Mr. Tillerson’s record and testimony, and we met last week. I greatly appreciated Mr. Tillerson’s candor during our discussion of Russian aggression, U.S. interests in Syria, the rights of women and girls around the world and the importance of maintaining investments in food security, among other things. I am also grateful for his willingness to leave a lucrative private sector career for public service at this critical time in our Nation’s history.
“However, Mr. Tillerson and I have basic disagreements about the most fundamental issues facing our Nation. I was very concerned about his refusal to say Russia is complicit in war crimes, his work to undermine U.S. sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014 and his acceptance of the Order of Friendship award from Vladimir Putin’s regime. Russia must be held accountable. Its efforts to undermine our democracy and our allies must be met with resistance, not indifference. I have serious concerns about the direction that Mr. Tillerson would guide our foreign policy. For these reasons, I voted against a procedural motion to move Mr. Tillerson’s nomination forward and will vote against Mr. Tillerson’s nomination when the final vote occurs this week.”