Senate

McConnell tees up Pompeo nomination after dramatic committee vote

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is teeing up CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to be secretary of State as Republicans aim to confirm him this week. 

McConnell filed cloture on Pompeo’s nomination Tuesday. 
 
Under Senate rules, that would set up an initial procedural vote for Thursday, unless senators agree to speed things up. After clearing that hurdle, opponents could drag his nomination out for another 30 hours, potentially forcing a rare Friday session. 
 
{mosads}The floor action comes after Pompeo received a favorable recommendation from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday in a dramatic party-line vote. 

 
Pompeo had been expected to be the first secretary of State nominee since at least the mid-1920s to fail to win over the panel. But he was spared the dubious distinction after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) made a last-minute switch to support Pompeo amid an intense pressure campaign from President Trump and the White House. 
 
With another committee Republican, Sen. Johnny Isakson (Ga.), absent for a funeral, the vote was formally tied at 10-10. But Democratic Sen. Christopher Coons (Del.) agreed to change his vote to present, allowing Pompeo to advance with the panel’s endorsement.
 
Pompeo ultimately has the votes to be confirmed by the Senate, where nominations only need a simple majority. 
 
With Paul as a “yes” vote, Pompeo could win 50 votes from Republicans alone. But three Democratic senators have, so far, said they will support him: Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Heidi Heiktkamp (N.D.). 
Tags Christopher Coons Donald Trump Joe Donnelly Joe Manchin Johnny Isakson Mike Pompeo Mitch McConnell Rand Paul

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