Another Democratic senator threw their weight behind Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State on Monday, increasing the likelihood that President Donald Trump’s replacement for Rex Tillerson will eventually be confirmed by the chamber.
“After meeting with Mike Pompeo, discussing his foreign policy perspectives, & considering his distinguished time as CIA Director & his exemplary career in public service, I will vote to confirm Mike Pompeo to be our next Secretary of State,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) tweeted on Monday.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) became the first Democrat to back Pompeo last week, saying in a statement that the CIA Directory has “demonstrated during this nomination process and during our meeting in March that he is committed to empowering the diplomats at the State Department so they can do their jobs in advancing American interests.”
Where does Pompeo’s confirmation currently stand?
On Monday, it’s expected that when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee votes it will not give Pompeo a favorable recommendation, since all of the Democrats on the committee are currently “no” votes, along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
In order for Pompeo to get out of committee with a favorable recommendation, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), who is currently undecided, would need to join his other Republicans in the “yes” camp and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the lone Republican firmly in the “no” camp, has to flip.
The White House has hinted that the president is making a last-minute push to try and flip Paul, but according to the often defiant Republican senator’s spokesperson, there are “no changes at this time” regarding his vote.
So while it’s considerably rare for a secretary of state nominee to fail to receive a favorable recommendation, it’s still likely that Pompeo will be confirmed once his nomination is brought to the Senate floor for a vote and Manchin’s support makes that possibility more likely.
Amid all this jockeying for votes, some Democratic senators are being called out for backing Pompeo during his CIA director nomination, only to now say he’s unfit to be secretary of state.