Manchin, Donnelly back Pompeo

Manchin, Donnelly back Pompeo
© Greg Nash

Two Senate Democrats came out in support on Monday of confirming CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump administration combining Palestinian mission, Israeli embassy next month: report The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race The Hill's Morning Report - Trump faces mounting challenges to emergency declaration MORE as the next secretary of State, giving him a jolt of momentum ahead of vote later this afternoon on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDemocrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general GOP wants to pit Ocasio-Cortez against Democrats in the Senate MORE (D-W.Va.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (D-Ind.) said they would vote for Pompeo, becoming the second and third Democrats to announce their support. Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (D-N.D.) announced her support on Friday.

They would give Pompeo more than enough votes to win approval on the Senate floor, even if he gets another GOP "no" vote. 

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOn unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 Congress must step up to protect Medicare home health care Business, conservative groups slam Trump’s national emergency declaration MORE (R-Ky.) is the only Republican expected to vote against him, though Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMellman: Where are good faith and integrity? GOP senator says Republicans didn't control Senate when they held majority Pence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech MORE (R-Ariz.), who is battling brain cancer, is almost certain to miss the vote. Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger MORE (R-Ariz.) is also undecided on Pompeo.

If the Senate's other 48 Republicans vote "yes," that would give Pompeo 51 votes with the three Democrats. 

Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingTexas senator introduces bill to produce coin honoring Bushes Drama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry Warner, Burr split on committee findings on collusion MORE (I-Maine) and three Democratic senators who backed Pompeo's confirmation as CIA director remain on the fence over his confirmation as secretary of State: Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMcCaskill: Lindsey Graham 'has lost his mind' Trey Gowdy joins Fox News as a contributor The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government MORE (D-Mo.), Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration MORE (D-N.Y.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHarris on election security: 'Russia can't hack a piece of paper' Schiff: Evidence of collusion between Trump campaign, Russia 'pretty compelling' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears MORE (D-Va.).

A fourth Democratic senator who supported Pompeo for CIA director, Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment Trade official warns senators of obstacles to quick China deal Actor Chris Evans meets with Democratic senators before State of the Union MORE (N.H.), came out in opposition to Pompeo's nomination following the endorsements from Manchin and Donnelly.

Manchin, who like Donnelly and Heitkamp faces a challenging reelection race this fall in a state won by Trump in 2016 by double digits, noted Pompeo's "exemplary" career in offering his support. 

"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," Manchin said in a tweet.

Later on Monday, Donnelly also announced his support.

"We need a Secretary of State who will give the president an honest assessment on critical issues, including Russia, Syria, and the defeat of [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] ISIS. I believe Director Pompeo is capable of advancing U.S. interests and leading the State Department," Donnelly said in a statement.

Before Pompeo's nomination gets to the floor, he faces a possible historic defeat at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Pompeo is expected to fail to receive a favorable recommendation from the panel during a vote scheduled for early Monday evening, where Republicans hold a one-seat majority on the committee. Paul is a member of the committee and no Democrats on the panel are supporting Pompeo.

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger RNC votes to give Trump 'undivided support' ahead of 2020 Sen. Risch has unique chance to guide Trump on foreign policy MORE (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, could either send his nomination to the floor with an unfavorable recommendation or no recommendation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems think they're beating Trump in emergency declaration battle Sanders: 'Not crazy' about nixing the Senate filibuster McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump MORE (R-Ky.) could also try to discharge the nomination from committee, but that gives Democrats the leverage to potentially filibuster Pompeo because the move would require 60 votes.

This story was updated at 2:23 p.m.