Pompeo clears committee, with a surprise reversal by Senator Paul

April 24, 2018

CIA Director Mike Pompeo was officially short of the votes needed to clear the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week, according to a poll of the 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats on the panel by The Hill. And then, in a last-minute reversal of fortune, GOP Senator Rand Paul (Kentucky), who had opposed the nomination, dropped his objections to the nomination in a series of tweets late on April 23.

Pompeo’s confirmation vote follows the removal of Rex Tillerson from the Secretary of State post in mid-March by President Donald Trump.

Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware) became the last Democrat on the committee to announce his opposition, saying that “after careful consideration” he would block Pompeo’s nomination to head the U.S. State Department.

“I remain concerned that Director Pompeo will not challenge the president in critical moments,” Coons averred in a statement reported by The Hill.

“On vital decisions facing our country, Director Pompeo seems less concerned with rule of law and partnership with our allies, and more inclined to emphasize unilateral action and the use of force,” he added.

Had Senator Paul not dropped his objections, this would have been the first time in almost a century that a Secretary of State nomination had not been approved in committee.

Research contact: @jordainc

Editor’s note: This story was revised at 9:30 a.m. on April 24.

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