Washington, DC - Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo: "In order to conduct U.S. foreign policy, the State Department needs its full team in place. Today, there are more than 60 State Department nominees awaiting confirmation in the United States Senate. That's more than a quarter of all the senior-level confirmable positions at the Department. These are excellent candidates, a mix of career Foreign Service Officers and political nominees. More than a dozen of these qualified political nominees are being held up by Senate Democrats because of politics.

"We’ve done our part at the State Department by putting forward a slate of candidates. It’s Senator Bob Menendez and his colleagues who have refused to vote on these nominees, putting our nation at risk.

"Yesterday, astonishingly and shamefully, Senator Menendez blamed the Administration for a lack of confirmed nominees when he said, “This Administration’s continued inability to adequately or appropriately fill key national security positions puts our nation at risk.”

"These outstanding candidates remain unconfirmed because Senator Menendez and some of his colleagues are using our nominees as a political football. This is unacceptable. The “risk” to the nation lies at the feet of Senator Menendez. We need our team on the field to conduct America’s foreign policy, and today I call on the Senator and his colleagues to stop this delay and obstruction now."