June 26, 2017
Title: Nomination Hearing for Rex Tillerson
Committee: Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Date: January 11, 2017
This Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting was a confirmation hearing for Rex Tillerson to be the next Secretary of State. Tillerson was introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), with supporting testimony from former Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA) and former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates.
While much of the hearing focused on global threats surrounding Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, the role of development and America’s foreign assistance agencies played a large role as well throughout the hearing. Many Senators took the time to ask specific questions related to global health, aid effectiveness, and global development initiatives, including in human trafficking, AIDs reduction, women’s empowerment, and disaster relief.
Tillerson stated his strong support for America’s global leadership, and use of foreign assistance as a critical tool of U.S. foreign policy. Specifically, Tillerson lavished praise on PEPFAR and the MCC, lauding them as “model programs” due to their effectiveness, accountability, and results-driven methods. He noted that these programs are an important way for America to project its values around the world and garner good-will.
In discussing his preference for accountable and effective programs, Tillerson also stated that he would conducting a comprehensive review of State Department programs and potentially restructuring the department to streamline it.