President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, pledged at his Senate confirmation hearing to bring Congress in as a full foreign policy “partner,” a subtle jab at the Trump administration and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who routinely ignored or bypassed lawmakers in policy-making.
Watch Blinken’s remarks in the player above.
“Both the president elect and I believe that we have to restore Congress’s traditional role as a partner in our foreign policy making,” Blinken told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“In recent years, across administrations of both parties, Congress’s voice in foreign policy has been diluted and diminished. That doesn’t make the executive branch stronger, it makes our country weaker,” he said.
In prepared remarks, Blinken said he is ready to confront challenges posed by China, Iran, North Korea and Russia and is committed to rebuilding the State Department after four years of atrophy under the Trump administration.
Blinken told lawmakers that he sees a world of rising nationalism and receding democracy. He said that mounting threats from authoritarian states are reshaping all aspects of human lives, particularly in cyberspace.
He also testified that American global leadership still matters and without it rivals will either step in to fill the vacuum or there will be chaos – and neither is a palatable choice.
Sen. Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the committee, said he expects the panel will vote on the nomination on Monday.