Some 97 Republican members of the House of Representatives signed a letter Monday urging President Barack Obama not to nominate Susan Rice as Secretary of State. Rice, who has promoted abortion internationally as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, would follow pro-abortion Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has announced she will step down for a replacement.
Rep. Jeff Duncan, a South Carolina Republican, organized the letter and obtained the signatures for it and, according to The Hill, the letter centers on foreign policy as the reason.
“Though Ambassador Rice has been our Representative to the U.N., we believe her misleading statements over the days and weeks following the attack on our embassy in Libya that led to the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans caused irreparable damage to her credibility both at home and around the world,” it says. The letter says Rice “propagated a falsehood” about the genesis of those attacks.
“Ambassador Rice is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi matter,” it says. “Her actions plausibly give U.S. allies (and rivals) abroad reason to question U.S. commitment and credibility when needed.”
“Thus, we believe that making her the face of U.S. foreign policy in your second term would greatly undermine your desire to improve U.S. relations with the world and continue to build trust with the American people,” it says.
Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have said they would block the nomination in the Senate with a filibsuter.
McCain said today Rice is “not qualified” to replace Clinton as the nation’s number one foreign diplomat and suggested he would filibuster her nomination, if she is nominated for the post.
“She’s not qualified,” McCain said on CBS’s “This Morning.” “Anyone who goes on national television and in defiance of the facts, five days later — We’re all responsible for what we say and what we do. I’m responsible to my voters. She’s responsible to the Senate of the United States. We have our responsibility for advice and consent.”
McCain said he would be “adamantly opposed” to Rice’s nomination and would do “everything I can to keep her from getting confirmed.”
Should Rice not get Senate support, pro-abortion Sen. John Kerry has been discussed as a potential “compromise” selection since lawmakers are more familiar with him.
“I’d rather have John Kerry. I think he’s well-positioned. He’s experienced. I think he’d take the job and he’s not tainted with the kind of things that I think would be a problem for Ambassador Rice,” said Sen Jon Kyl of Arizona.
In 2009, Rice went on record (although without using the word abortion) in a speech at Howard University signaling a substantive policy shift from the Bush Administration on abortion by equating abortion with “reproductive health.”
Rice worked closely with abortion advocates when she was Bill Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Abortion advocates such as Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards praised her selection to the U.N. ambassador position.
In her role as Secretary of State Clinton pressed for abortion on an international scale.
As recently as June, she was upset the document the United Nations adopted at its Rio+20 conference last week did not promote abortion by inserting terms like “reproductive rights” into he language of the text.
A diverse group of countries rallied together with the Holy See to successfully remove any mention of reproductive rights or population control from the final outcome document produced during the last round of UN negotiations at the Rio +20 conference. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA), along with Norway and Iceland, and Catholics for Choice and the International Planned Parenthood Federation, worked feverishly to take advantage of the Rio +20 conference on sustainable development in order to promote both an international right to abortion and population control.
However, nations like Nicaragua, Chile, Russia, Honduras, Syria, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Egypt all rejected the introductionof “reproductive rights” into the Rio +20 outcome document.
Responding to the resounding defeat, Clinton said she was disappointed, according to a CNS News report.
“While I am very pleased that this year’s outcome document endorses sexual and reproductive health and universal access to family planning, to reach our goals in sustainable development we also have to ensure women’s reproductive rights,” she said. “Women must be empowered to make decisions about whether and when to have children. And the United States will continue – the United States will continue to work to ensure that those rights are respected in international agreements.”
Last year, Clinton personally urged Obama to veto a State Department funding bill over cuts to groups that perform and promote abortions.
In 2010, she testified before a Congressional committee where two pro-life members of Congress presented her with a long lecture on abortion and how it hurts women.
Congressmen Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, and Jeff Fortenberry, a Nebraska Republican, both addressed pro-life issues during the hearing.
Smith, who had frequently led the fight against abortion on an international scale, made his full remarks with Clinton sitting as the lone witness at the witness table.
“Secretary Clinton, the most persecuted and at risk minority in the world today are unborn children,” Smith said. “Pregnancy is not a disease. The child in the womb is neither a tumor nor a parasite to be destroyed.”
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Smith said he is troubled by President Barack Obama’s decision to overturn the Mexico City Policy and open the door forcing taxpayers to fund abortions in other nations.
“I am deeply concerned that with the elimination of the Mexico City Policy by executive order last year, NGO implementing partners may actively seek to integrate abortion with the many necessary and noble undertakings funded by the Global Health Initiative,” he said.
“I respectfully ask that the administration consider that for many of us, all abortion—legal or illegal—is violence against children and poses significant, often underappreciated risks to women and even to children later born to post-abortive women,” Smith added.