Lowey Statement on Secretary of State Pompeo Convention Speech from Israel

August 26, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a speech from Israel for the Republican National Convention:

“I was shocked to see Secretary Pompeo deliver a convention speech from Israel. Not only did this action violate longstanding protocol, but also the State Department’s own policy prohibiting Senate-confirmed presidential appointees from attending convention-related events.

“It requires the willing suspension of disbelief to accept that no State Department resources or staff time were involved given the speech was recorded while the Secretary was on official travel, presumably with staff and security detail.

“I join my colleagues in demanding an accounting of what resources were used, including staff time, for this speech. Congress must be able to assess potential Hatch Act violations, and reassurances from the State Department that no violations occurred simply do not suffice.

“Moreover, I was personally dismayed to see Israel used as a partisan backdrop. This move is especially disappointing given that President Trump recently openly admitted to using our ally as a political prop. I stand with colleagues in calling for an explanation, and, as Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, I reinforce the United States’ commitment to a safe, secure Israel, rooted in bipartisanship and shared values.”