Rice meets again with Republican critics on the Hill

 Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte, John McCain and Lindsey Graham met with Rice Tuesday. Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte, John McCain and Lindsey Graham met with Rice Tuesday. Susan Walsh/AP
Following a rocky meeting with her strongest Republican critics in the Senate on Tuesday, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice plans to meet with two more Republican senators on Wednesday.

Rice will sit with Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Bob Corker of Tennessee on Wednesday. Corker is next in line to be ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“She always delivers the party line, the company line, whatever the talking points are,” Corker said, according to the Associated Press. “I think most of us hold the secretary of State and secretary of Treasury to a whole different level. We understand that they're going to support the administration, but we also want to know that they are independent enough, when administration is off-base, that they are putting pressure. I think that's what worries me most about Rice."

Rice has been widely reported as President Obama's top choice for secretary of state, and the president has fiercely defended her amid a firestorm of criticism over her statements explaining the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Libya.

After their meeting with Rice, Republican Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte said they were more disturbed than they were before the meeting. Ayotte said on CBS that she would place a hold on the nomination if Rice were tapped for secretary of State.

“We are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn't get concerning evidence that was overwhelming leading up to the attack on our consulate,” McCain said after the morning meeting with Rice.

On Tuesday, the White House and several Democrats on the Hill defended Rice against what they said was unfair criticism.

“There are no unanswered questions about Ambassador Rice's appearance on Sunday shows and the talking points that she used for those appearances that were provided by the intelligence community,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “Those questions have been answered.”

Further, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called the criticism “outrageous,” saying the real questions that need answering surround how to prevent any further attacks on diplomats abroad.

“The personal attacks against Ambassador Rice by certain Republican senators have been outrageous and utterly unmoored from facts and reality,” Reid said on Tuesday, according to AP.

Following her meeting with the three senators of Tuesday, Rice also sat down with retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

If Rice were to be nominated as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s successor, she would only need five Republicans to reach 60 votes and cloture for the nomination.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.