Paul backs Pompeo, clearing path for confirmation

 
Paul's surprise decision came minutes before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was to vote on Pompeo's nomination, and likely switches the result.
 
Pompeo looked to be headed for a defeat, but if all 11 Republicans on the committee back him, he will win the panel's recommendation in an 11-10 vote even with every committee Democrat voting "no."
 
 
 
Paul's previous opposition to Pompeo would have made the CIA director the first secretary of State nominee since the mid-1920s to be moved to the floor despite getting an unfavorable committee vote.
 
The senator previously said he would "do everything I can to block" Pompeo, citing his support of the Iraq War and views on enhanced interrogation techniques. 
 
Paul found himself under pressure last week from Trump and some of his Republican Senate colleagues to confirm Pompeo. 
 
“I hope that Sen. Paul will reconsider because if he changed his view then this would be over, and it really does bother me,” said Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOn The Money: Turkey slaps more tariffs on US goods | Businesses fear blowback from Russia sanctions bill | Senate turns to toughest 'minibus' yet Businesses fear blowback from Russia sanctions bill White House staff offered discounts at Trump's NJ golf club: report MORE (R-S.C.). “He ran for president; I ran for president; Trump beat us both. ... The election is over.”
 
 
Her move also ensured that Republicans would not need Paul's vote to confirm Pompeo on the Senate floor.