Thank you very much.
Chairman Graham, Ranking Member Leahy, distinguished members of the subcommittee:
I won’t read my entire statement, but I do have a few minutes, so I want to just walk through now two years in the administration. I am now nine days short of one year my time as Secretary of State.
When the Trump Administration first took office, the United States of America faced a series of threats.
We faced a China that wanted to spread its model of economic corruption, increase its military power, and perfect its Orwellian control of populations.
We faced in Iran a revolutionary regime that wanted to dominate the Middle East, and had a guaranteed pathway to nuclear weapons, following a truly bad nuclear deal.
We faced a Russia that had invaded Ukraine and had captured Crimea.
We faced a North Korean nuclear and missile proliferation threat.
We faced a terror threat that spanned continents.
And we faced petty dictators in the world, like Maduro in Venezuela, and Assad in Syria.
The Trump administration has recognized the seriousness of these challenges, and we have responded. I’d like to take a few moments to talk about how we’ve approached this. We think this has truly benefited the American people and their security.
First, the Trump administration sees the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. We have leveled with the American people and our friends and partners about the threats that we face. This honesty has produced growing bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill about the need to confront Chinese aggression.
It produced a unanimous consensus inside of NATO that arms control agreements like the INF Treaty are worthless if only one party adheres to its terms. It produced broad international support for the brave people of Venezuela.
Basing policy on reality, we recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and we recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. It’s why the State Department designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terror organization on Monday. We must recognize reality.
Second, we have used creative diplomacy to build coalitions to confront our enemies – because we neither can nor should do everything ourselves. We convinced our NATO allies to spend significantly more on their own defense.
We rallied the Defeat ISIS coalition, a coalition of over 80 countries, to dismantle the caliphate in Iraq and in Syria.
In Warsaw we convened more than 60 countries to discuss the common threats and shared opportunities in the Middle East that included Arab and Israeli leaders talking to one another. We’re getting the Middle East Strategic Alliance off the ground. We built the Indo-Pacific Strategy to do a real pivot to Asia. We have supported our hemispheric partners in the OAS and Lima Group as they work to support the Venezuelan people.
And we forged a global coalition at the United Nations to impose the toughest-ever sanctions on North Korea.
Third, we are focused on outcomes. This administration promised to dismantle the ISIS caliphate, and we’ve done it. We promised to confront China for its trade practices and call them out on human rights violations, and we’ve done it. We promised to exit the Iran nuclear deal to exert pressure on Tehran to change its murderous ways; we’ve done that, too.
We are working every day to protect our citizens at home and abroad, and advance American prosperity and values, and to support our allies and partners overseas.
Finally, when I first became Secretary, I promised to put diplomacy at the forefront of defending U.S. national security and advancing our interests. I think I’ve done that, too.
Here’s what’s happened in my 11-plus months:
We lifted the hiring freeze for family members as well. This was a no-brainer. We brought 2,000 family members who are eligible for employment back on to our team.
Promotion rates in the Foreign Service, which were cut in 2017 across the board by 40 or 50 percent, are now growing again.
New Foreign Service Officer and Foreign Service Specialist classes are beginning.
Fifty-five senior leaders have been confirmed by the Senate since my first day. Thank you for that. More to follow, I hope.
I am holding small group events all across the world, including here in Washington. I call them “Meet with Mike.” My team can hear from me. We listen to many, many voices directly.
And back in the States I’ve traveled some to tell the State Department story here in America to convince Americans why diplomacy matters. I’ve also been recruiting.
And at my recommendation, the President and the Senate recognized four individuals to become career ambassadors: David Hale, Phil Goldberg, Michele Sisons, and Dan Smith. The rest of our team knows that these are people that we can all look up to.
There’s much more to say, but I’ll end here. I look forward to discussing the administration’s foreign policy and the $40 billion budget request for State Department and USAID for 2020. And with that, I look forward to your questions.
US State Department