WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) today released the following statement after President-elect Obama held a press conference unveiling his national security team:
"Today, Barack Obama kept his campaign promise to choose advisors of the highest stature, from a variety of backgrounds, who would challenge his thinking on vital issues.
"In retaining Defense Secretary Robert Gates, which I have long believed would be a positive move, President-elect Obama shows he understands that securing our Nation requires transcending partisanship. Secretary Gates has led the Defense Department with flexibility, imagination, and a renewed commitment to counterinsurgency.
"Senator Hillary Clinton is an outstanding nominee for Secretary of State. She will bring her years of relationships with foreign leaders, a detailed command of foreign policy, and a strong, independent voice to the Cabinet table.
"General Jim Jones will be a deeply knowledgeable National Security Advisor. After four decades of service, he knows the military well; and as a leading advocate for energy independence, he is uniquely qualified to focus on the intersection of energy and security issues.
"Eric Holder is well-equipped to serve as Attorney General, at a time when that role has taken on added national security importance. He combines a distinguished career in law enforcement with a longstanding respect for civil liberties.
"Janet Napolitano will be a strong leader for a fledgling Homeland Security department in need of better integration into the national security apparatus. She will bring an independent perspective to a bureaucracy demanding continued reform.
"The nomination of Dr. Susan Rice for the role of UN Ambassador shows the President-elect's commitment to engaging that important world body. Dr. Rice understands that the world needs the UN, and that the UN needs a strong but diplomatic American voice for reform. I am also pleased to hear that the President-elect is returning the position of UN Ambassador to Cabinet rank.
"These men and women will face a wide array of security challenges, but I am confident that the next President has picked a team that is extremely well-prepared and well-qualified to meet them."