Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Senate Barrels Towards Showdown Over Pompeo Confirmation for State

GOP senator Democratic opposition to Pompeo 'driven 100 percent by politics' Greg Nash
Andrew Cummings | 23 April, 2018, 20:57

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and President Donald Trump took Senate Democrats to task for opposing the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.

Democrats, for their part, have raised concerns with what they view as Pompeo's hawkish posture on foreign policy and lack of willingness to stand up to Trump, who has a well documented close relationship with the current Central Intelligence Agency chief.

Mr. Pompeo now heads the Central Intelligence Agency but was nominated by President Trump to take over at the State Department after former Secretary Rex W. Tillerson was sacked.

Historically, secretaries of State have enjoyed large, bipartisan margins of support.

"Unless a nominee has clear ethical or competency failings, presidents should be accorded wide latitude to select top aides whom they trust and agree with, "USA Today's board wrote. I understand that", said Corker".

The Senate panel vote, however, could have been locked up for Pompeo were it not for the opposition of Paul, who said he will vote against Pompeo because he supported the 2003 American invasion of Iraq that eventually toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Yet Mr Tillerson was confirmed on a party-line vote of 56-43.

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The unfavorable recommendation to the Senate floor however is unlikely to sink Pompeo's nomination. GOP Senate members are expected to vote in favor of his nomination, as are several Democrats facing re-election in red states. "I personally know Mike Pompeo". Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) that he would vote for the nomination on the floor - becoming the second Democrat in the chamber to voice support. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., still intends to hold a full Senate confirmation vote this week, but the absence of an affirmative committee vote is unprecedented for a State nominee, according to the Senate Historical Office. "Regardless of what the committee does, however, his fate will nearly certainly reach the Senate floor for approval".

The Wall Street Journal said the panel is poised to vote against him.

The panel may not have enough votes to recommend him for confirmation Monday as all Democrats, and at least one Republican, have said they will oppose him.

"I realize my Democratic friends in many cases feel like that in supporting Pompeo, it's a proxy for support of the Trump administration policies, which many of them abhor".

She said Mr Pompeo convinced her that he's committed to empowering the diplomatic corps and filling key vacancies such as the U.S. ambassador to South Korea.

"Democrats, especially on the Foreign Relations Committee, are really engaged in shameful political behavior", Cotton said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation".

"Pompeo would not be our choice to be America's top diplomat, but unlike other patently unqualified Trump Cabinet picks, he is a solid-enough selection who deserves Senate consent", the board wrote.

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