Donnelly becomes third Dem to support Pompeo

Donnelly becomes third Dem to support Pompeo
© Greg Nash

Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBiden to have audience with pope, attend G20 summit Biden taps former Indiana Sen. Donnelly as ambassador to Vatican Republicans may regret restricting reproductive rights MORE (D-Ind.) on Monday became the third Democrat to say he will vote for CIA Director Mike PompeoMike PompeoNo time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump Psaki: Sexism contributes to some criticism of Harris Mnuchin, Pompeo mulled plan to remove Trump after Jan. 6: book MORE to be President TrumpDonald TrumpMedia giants side with Bannon on request to release Jan. 6 documents Cheney warns of consequences for Trump in dealings with Jan. 6 committee Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official MORE's next secretary of State.

"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.

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Pompeo already has the votes needed to be confirmed by the full Senate.

In addition to Donnelly, Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money — Powell, Yellen face pressure on inflation Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Dems seek to preserve climate provisions Democrats wrangle to keep climate priorities in spending bill  MORE (W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampVirginia loss lays bare Democrats' struggle with rural voters Washington's oldest contact sport: Lobbyists scrum to dilute or kill Democrats' tax bill Progressives prepare to launch counterattack in tax fight MORE (N.D.) — each of whom are up for reelection in states Trump won in 2016 — have said they will vote for Pompeo.

With Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP anger with Fauci rises Congress's goal in December: Avoid shutdown and default Cotton swipes at Fauci: 'These bureaucrats think that they are the science' MORE (R-Ky.) opposed to the nomination, Pompeo only needed to pick up one Democratic vote in order to secure the 50 votes needed to be confirmed.

But the boost of momentum comes as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is poised to snub Pompeo on Monday evening by refusing to give him a favorable vote.

Paul, a member of the panel, is expected to join with the 10 Democrats on the committee to oppose Pompeo's nomination.

But Republicans are expected to bring his nomination to the Senate floor regardless of the committee vote.

Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Tenn.) could try to send Pompeo to the Senate floor with either an unfavorable recommendation or no recommendation.

As an alternative, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Memo: Trump's justices look set to restrict abortion Conservatives could force shutdown over Biden vaccine mandate Freedom Caucus urges McConnell to block government funding over vaccine mandates MORE (R-Ky.) could try to discharge the nomination from committee, a move which could ultimately need 60 votes.

Several other Democratic senators remain on the fence ahead of a showdown over Pompeo.

Democratic Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.), who wasn't in the chamber for Pompeo's CIA director vote, has yet to say if he will support Pompeo.

Meanwhile, of the 14 Democrats — plus Sen. Angus KingAngus KingAmazon, Facebook, other large firms would pay more under proposed minimum tax, Warren's office says Senators look to defense bill to move cybersecurity measures Energy information chief blames market for high fuel prices MORE (I-Maine), who caucuses with the Democrats — who supported Pompeo last year, five have yet to announce how they will vote: Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillLobbying world Ex-Rep. Akin dies at 74 Republicans may regret restricting reproductive rights MORE (Mo.), Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Mark Warner (Va.) and King.