WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced she will vote for Mike Pompeo to serve as Secretary of State.
“Pompeo demonstrated during this nomination process and during our meeting in March that he is committed to empowering the diplomats at the State Department so they can do their jobs in advancing American interests,” said Heitkamp. “At a time of peril around the world, we need to exhaust all diplomatic options before sending the brave men and women of the armed forces into dangerous situations that could escalate out of control. The role of the State Department is to support our diplomatic missions to avoid conflict, support American interests, and stand up for our allies, and having a leadership team in place is essential to carrying out those jobs. If he’s confirmed, I’ll hold Mr. Pompeo accountable to make sure he advances our country’s leadership in the world and supports our embassies – including by filling critical jobs that have been vacant, like for the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea. We need to seek a diplomatic solution in North Korea and we need to make sure that any discussions support the goals of the U.S.”
Heitkamp met with Pompeo on March 22 to discuss his nomination and how the U.S. State Department can better pursue a foreign policy that advances U.S. diplomatic, military, and economic interests abroad.
Heitkamp has pressed the administration to fill key positions that will aid in the diplomatic and military components of a comprehensive strategy to deal with North Korea. In a 2017 letter, she urged the president to appoint a Special Envoy to the Korean Peninsula, and to fill key positions such as Ambassador to South Korea and top Asia-related positions at the Defense and State Departments. In October 2016, Heitkamp joined in a congressional fact-finding trip to see missile defense capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region up close.
Heitkamp focused the September 2017 episode of her podcast, “The Hotdish,” on the North Korea threat.