McConnell: “The Core Business of Our Nation Does Not Stop While We Fight the Coronavirus”

‘Today, we’ll confirm Bill Evanina to lead the National Counterintelligence and Security Center.’

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding nominations: 

“The core business of our nation does not stop while we fight the coronavirus.

“This week, Senate committees are conducting oversight and holding hearings.

“Members are tracking the implementation of the CARES Act. We are discussing how Congress could do everything from further strengthening the health response to ensuring that a second epidemic of frivolous lawsuits does not redirect the national recovery into a trial-lawyer bonanza.

“Here on the floor, we’re filling major vacancies in the federal government.

“Today, we’ll confirm Bill Evanina to lead the National Counterintelligence and Security Center.

“As our nation grapples with challenges at home, it is critically important that a full complement of skilled professionals keep a close watch on our foes, adversaries, and competitors.

“Mr. Evanina’s nomination will make him the first Senate-confirmed director of the NCSC. This role represents our government’s seniormost expert in counterintelligence.

“Fortunately, this nominee has served nearly three decades — as a special agent with the FBI, as chief of the CIA’s Counterespionage Group, and as one of the principal advisors to the Director of National Intelligence. 

“Mr. Evanina’s long professional experience has given him a well-trained eye. And he’s made clear he is focused on the most serious espionage threats facing the United States today: China’s insidious efforts to steal our industrial, governmental, technological, and political secrets; and Russia’s continuing efforts to meddle in our democracy.

“So we have a qualified professional who is tailor-made for an important job. Our colleagues on the Intelligence Committee have reported him out on a unanimous bipartisan basis — twice. The Vice-Chairman, Senator Warner, has said, quote, “Bill Evanina should be confirmed without further delay.”

“But even still, our Democratic colleagues chose to obstruct his nomination on the floor this week and require a full day of floor time to confirm him. 

“Ironically, at the same time, we’ve also heard some of our Democratic colleagues complain that we spend too much time voting on these sorts of nominations.

“It is bad enough to spend three years delaying nominations to an historic degree and deliberately making the process painful. But it reaches a new level of irony for my Democratic friends to do all that and then complain that their own strategy is inconveniencing their schedules.

“Essential matters of government do not cease because of the coronavirus, and they do not cease because of partisanship either.

“As long as Senate Democrats continue to make incredibly qualified nominees travel the hard way  — including someone whom their own Democratic ranking member has openly praised — then I assure them, they will need to continue to show up and cast votes.

“The country’s business will not go undone.”

Related Issues: COVID-19, Nominations