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Senate Panel Paves Way for Pompeo to Become US Secretary of State

26 April 2018, 10:30 | Katrina Lee

Mo Brooks urges Doug Jones to confirm Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State

Republicans News / LGBTQ Nation

Mike Pompeo of Kansas now appears to be headed toward confirmation as the new secretary of State.

"Senator Isakson is one of my closest friends here. and he's been through an incredibly hard day", Coons told reporters.

Senator Paul's last-minute vote shift, which came just hours before the Pompeo nomination had received the support of two more red state Democrats that essentially guaranteed that he would be confirmed on the floor regardless of what happened in the committee.

Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) says obstruction in the Senate has delayed Pompeo's confirmation. The committee vote was along party lines, and some Democratic senators have expressed concerns about Pompeo's ability to conduct diplomacy.

"What I heard from him in private - and what I think we'll hear from him in public - is that regime change really hasn't worked that well in the Middle East", Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, said on Fox News.

With only a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate, Pompeo's nomination hinges on support from Senate Democrats, with many facing pressure to more stridently oppose U.S. President Donald Trump. And when he was confirmed as Central Intelligence Agency director, he had the support of 14 Senate Democrats, including Donnelly.

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But supporters of Mr. Pompeo feared that he would become the country's 70th secretary of state with a bruised standing on the world stage after a Foreign Relations Committee rebuke. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who announced her support last week - have committed to back Pompeo's confirmation. "I don't want to vote for people who are anti-diplomatic to be the nation's chief diplomat". He is experienced... he has served in Washington, initially as a congressman, since 2011. Joe Donnelly of IN who said they will support his nomination, according to the AP.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, had also expressed some reservations about Pompeo, but told CBS News' Ed O'Keefe that he had also chose to support Pompeo's nomination. Sen. "Or would the Pompeo who once called a political opponent a "turban-topper" prevail?"

"The most important thing for a secretary of state is to be perceived as speaking for the President", said Dr Jon Alterman, a senior vice-president at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies who was a State Department official under President George W. Bush.

That partisan environment had, in the end, provided Pompeo a lift.

If Pompeo secures more votes for his confirmation, "it could suggest marginally greater confidence from the Senate", Rathke continued. "But if he takes over the State Department without the panel's recommendation, he'll be the first secretary of state to do so after such a tentative endorsement from Capitol Hill". "If confirmed, he will be judged on his performance going forward".

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