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Senate committee sets Monday vote even as Pompeo appears to lack support

Senate committee sets Monday vote even as Pompeo appears to lack support
© Greg Nash

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is pressing forward with a vote on CIA Director Mike PompeoMike PompeoOn The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits Treasury imposes additional sanctions on Cuba over allegations of 'serious human rights abuse' MORE's nomination to be secretary of State — even as he appears to be short of the votes to clear the panel. 

Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerGOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics Former GOP senator: Republicans cannot let Trump's 'reckless' post-election claims stand Cornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' MORE's (R-Tenn.) office announced that the committee would take a vote on Pompeo’s nomination early Monday evening. 

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Corker separately shot down a question about whether he would try to move Pompeo to the Senate floor without a vote. 

"I haven't considered that at all," he said. 

But Pompeo appears short of the votes to get a favorable recommendation from the committee. 

Republicans hold a one-seat advantage on the panel, and Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMcConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Legislatures boost security after insurrection, FBI warnings Former Missouri senator says backing Hawley was 'worst mistake of my life' MORE (R-Ky.) has said he will oppose the former Kansas congressman.

Only one Democrat on the committee, Sen. Christopher CoonsChris Andrew CoonsSecurity concerns mount ahead of Biden inauguration Trump impeachment collides with Biden's agenda Sanders to wield gavel as gatekeeper for key Biden proposals MORE (Del.), hasn't said how he will vote. He previously opposed Pompeo to be CIA director and has said he's leaning against his current nomination. 

Moving Pompeo to the full Senate even if he isn't able to win over the support of a majority of the committee marks an unusual step. 

According to the Senate Historian’s Office, senators have only used such a move successfully on a Cabinet nominee once before: In 1945, when President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Henry Wallace to be secretary of Commerce.

With Paul opposed and GOP Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe best way to handle veterans, active-duty military that participated in Capitol riot Cindy McCain on possible GOP censure: 'I think I'm going to make T-shirts' Arizona state GOP moves to censure Cindy McCain, Jeff Flake MORE (Ariz.) absent for cancer treatment, Pompeo would need the support of every remaining Republican and at least one Democrat to be confirmed by the Senate. So far, no Democratic senator has come out in his favor.