Press Releases

Spanberger Questions U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo on Administration’s Criticism of U.S. Intelligence & Diplomatic Efforts, Pushes for Smart National Security Strategy

A Former CIA Case Officer, the Congresswoman Called on Pompeo to Recognize the Need for a Nonpartisan, Evidence-Based National Security Strategy

Washington, March 27, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today pressed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the need to value the critical work of the U.S. intelligence, defense, and diplomatic communities.

During a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing focused on the current administration’s foreign policy priorities, Spanberger—a former intelligence officer—stressed how ignoring the expertise of career public servants could jeopardize U.S. national security. Additionally, she sought answers from Secretary Pompeo about the administration’s repeated rejection of U.S. intelligence assessments. Click here to watch her remarks.

“Too often, the administration has rejected the objective, nonpartisan assessments of the intelligence community on some of the most critical foreign policy challenges we face,” said Spanberger. “Today, I had the opportunity to ask Secretary Pompeo a series of questions about the administration’s attitude toward the federal workforce—particularly our public servants who advance our security, interests, and values around the world. On the Foreign Affairs Committee, I will continue to advocate for a sound and balanced foreign policy strategy—one that is driven by facts and well-sourced information and intelligence. I’ll keep pressing the administration when I feel its actions harm the ability of our intelligence and diplomatic professionals to carry out their vital missions effectively. And as a former CIA case officer, I want to commend the dedicated men and women of the intelligence community for risking their lives each day to protect their fellow Americans.”

Earlier this month, Spanberger spoke out against the administration’s proposal to drastically reduce U.S. international economic and diplomatic engagement efforts. In response to the release of the White House’s topline budget, she underscored how the administration’s proposed 24-percent cut to the U.S. international affairs budget could put lives at risk, undermine American global leadership, and strain relationships with the country’s key security partners.

Background

A former case officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, Spanberger is committed to reinforcing the importance of U.S. relationships with key allies in Europe, Asia, and around the world. She is also championing smart and even-keeled foreign policy decision-making, including in U.S. efforts to engage with North Korea.

Since arriving in the U.S. House, Spanberger has continued to push for a reinforced U.S. commitment to fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states and for strengthened investment in diplomacy and economic engagement. Earlier this month, Spanberger urged her colleagues in the Senate to pass a bipartisan bill she helped introduce to voice congressional support for NATO. Spanberger is a cosponsor of the NATO Support Act, which passed overwhelmingly in the U.S. House in January. Next month marks NATO’s 70th anniversary.

Last month, Spanberger announced her appointment to serve as Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition National Security Task Force. As Co-Chair, Spanberger will focus on demonstrating the importance of American leadership abroad and reaffirming a commitment to the vital role of diplomacy and strengthened partnerships with our allies, including in Europe.

Spanberger serves as a member of two key subcommittees on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee: the Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment Subcommittee—on which she serves as Vice-Chair, and the Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation Subcommittee.

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