WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement in response to the ongoing and dangerous holds of important State Department nominations:
“As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I firmly believe we must use every opportunity to sound the alarm about the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and its strategic focus on proactive diplomacy. Today, the PRC has more diplomatic posts than any other country – including the United States – and it has continued to gain ground at an alarming pace. Strengthening our country’s diplomatic posture across the globe, remaining competitive against the PRC, and disrupting Beijing’s growing diplomatic advantage are all goals that should share widespread bipartisan support across the Senate.
“Yet despite this reality, Republican members of this body continue to engage in needless obstruction, making it increasingly difficult to strengthen our hand against the PRC. The blatant refusal by one member, in particular, to advance well-qualified nominees is not only unacceptable, but puts our country’s national security and global influence in peril.
“I have made numerous offers to provide access to documents in the Committee’s possession and accommodate requests for information, but these attempts have been met with continued obstruction and further, more unreasonable demands. I refuse to let this Committee’s work be disrupted by such antics. I call on the members of this body engaged in blanket refusals to confirm nominees to stop playing games with our national security. It only undermines our national security and our ability to compete with the PRC.”