Today, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) joined a group of House Democratic women Members, including Reps. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), Karen Bass (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (Del-District of Columbia) and Terri Sewell (D-AL), to release the following statement in support of U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice following what they deemed unfair attacks from various Senate and House Republicans:
In January 2009, when President Obama nominated Susan Rice to the post of U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and a member of his Cabinet, he did so knowing very well there were few with more skill, depth of experience and long-standing commitment to service. President Obama nominated a Rhodes Scholar, Stanford University graduate and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State.
Over the last several days, Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte have gone to extraordinary lengths to level unfair attacks against a stalwart American whose public service spans two administrations. In particular, Mr. McCain's assertion that Ambassador Rice is "unqualified" is unsettling. It is disappointing that someone who has served his nation with distinction -- both in the Navy and the U.S. Senate -- would stoop to petty politics rather than direct precious time and energy to discussions around the safety and security of our foreign service and civil servants.
We call on Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte to immediately retract their troubling remarks and shift focus to the important and critical security concerns of our diplomats abroad.
In nominating Ambassador Rice, the President recognized the extraordinary contributions she has made in the service of her nation and in international relations. From 2002 to 2009, Rice was a foreign policy Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. From 1995 to 1997, she served as Special Assistant to President Clinton and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. And from 1993 to 1995, she served as the Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping on the National Security Council. Throughout her impressive career, Ambassador Rice has promoted peace and security in regions plagued by instability and crisis and has been a champion in the difficult work to advance U.S. national security and U.S interests aboard.
President Obama recently noted of Ambassador Rice's service, "Let me say specifically about Susan Rice: She has done exemplary work. She has represented the U.S. and our interests in the U.N. with skill and professionalism and toughness and grace."
As the recipient of the 2000 Samuel Nelson Drew Memorial Award for distinguished contributions to the formation of peaceful, cooperative relationships between states and an expert on fragile states, global poverty and transitional security, Ambassador Rice is an American treasure. We applaud Ambassador Rice for her exemplary service to our great nation.