The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday approved the nomination of President Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, after a Republican senator who had been opposed threw his support behind the nominee.
The committee approved Pompeo’s nomination on a party-line vote, with all 11 Republicans backing him, nine Democrats opposed along with also also one Democrat, Chris Coons, voting “present” because of Senate procedural rules.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there were enough votes from the full Senate to confirm Pompeo as secretary of state This kind of week. in which might allow Pompeo to attend a NATO summit on Friday.
Pompeo became one of Trump’s most trusted advisers during his 15 months as CIA director. Most recently, he has been deeply involved in preparations for Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, including meeting with him three weeks ago.
While Democrats opposed Pompeo because they consider him too hawkish along with also also worry about his past harsh statements about homosexuality along with also also Islam, he has the support of at least three Democrats not on the committee, all yet assuring he will be confirmed for State because no Senate Republican has announced opposition.
“I don’t believe in which Director Pompeo will always be someone who values diplomacy over conflict,” said Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.
Senator Rand Paul’s late switch meant the nominee could avoid the embarrassment of being the first person nominated for secretary of state known to fail to secure the panel’s endorsement.
in which might have cast a cloud over Trump’s push to overhaul his national security team, after firing his first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, last month. The White House along with also also Republican Party had thrown their weight behind the nomination, which has a series of attacks on Democrats for opposing Trump’s pick.
“I have changed my mind. I decided to go ahead along with also also vote for Director Pompeo,” Paul said before the committee vote after announcing on Twitter he had abruptly ended weeks of opposition.
Paul has been known to threaten opposition on major policy positions staked out by Trump, including healthcare reform, only to change his mind at the last minute. Trump recently expressed confidence in which the senator by Kentucky might come around to support Pompeo.