Why I’m Voting No on Rex Tillerson’s Nomination to be Secretary of State

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, with his two-year-old granddaughter Isabelle Dobbs-Higginson on his lap and United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon looking on, signs the COP21 Climate Change Agreement on behalf of the United States during a ceremony on Earth Day, April 22, 2016, at the U.N. General Assembly Hall in New York, N.Y. [State Department photo]
This is Gihembe camp, housing Congolese refugees. Some of the refugees have been in this camp for as much as 25 years. [Photo credit: Bobbi Kraham, USAID]
Senator Brian Schatz speaks about Rex Tillerson’s nomination to lead the State Department on the Senate floor January 31, 2017.

For decades, there has been a bi-partisan consensus about U.S. relations with Russia. And I am uncomfortable with confirming a secretary of state who does not share that bipartisan view.

Secondly, I am not satisfied that Mr. Tillerson has the knowledge base to lead United States’ diplomacy.

The Pentagon, left, and the Harry S. Truman Building, right.

The next leader of the State Department will need to argue for our values and our priorities with friends and adversaries alike. He or she will need to balance business interests, with national security, with American values.

I approached this nomination process with an open mind. But Mr. Tillerson’s confirmation hearing left me with too many doubts about his views, his knowledge set, and his abilities.



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