Politics As Pompeo Hits Opposition, Senate GOP Leaders May Bypass Panel

04:26  17 april  2018
04:26  17 april  2018 Source:   Bloomberg

Pompeo nomination hits turbulence ahead of Senate vote

  Pompeo nomination hits turbulence ahead of Senate vote President Donald Trump's pick for secretary of state, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, is facing so much opposition from Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the panel could be forced to send his nomination to the full Senate without a favorable recommendation. Pompeo is still expected to have enough votes to replace Rex Tillerson, who was fired by Trump. But his confirmation may come down to a handful of senators. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's pick for secretary of state, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, is facing so much opposition from Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the panel could be forced to ta

The libertarian-leaning GOP senator said Wednesday that Pompeo ’s earlier support for the Iraq Paul’s opposition to Pompeo will be more immediately felt because he serves on the Senate Paul does not serve on the Intelligence panel , so Haspel’s confirmation process may be less rocky.

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Michael Pompeo, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and U.S. secretary of state nominee for President Donald Trump, speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, April 12, 2018.: As Pompeo Hits Opposition, Senate GOP Leaders May Bypass Panel © Bloomberg/Bloomberg As Pompeo Hits Opposition, Senate GOP Leaders May Bypass Panel

(Bloomberg) -- A Senate panel appears increasingly likely to vote against the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be secretary of state next week, but Republican leaders say they still plan to hold a full Senate confirmation vote.

“I think it’s important he get a vote on the floor of the Senate and I believe he’ll be confirmed,” said Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, a member of the GOP leadership team and of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is considering Pompeo’s nomination.

Barrasso decried a Democratic “resistance movement” that he said seems more geared toward keeping President Donald Trump from assembling his leadership team than being directed at Pompeo, who is currently CIA director.

Pompeo may fall short of majority support on Senate panel

  Pompeo may fall short of majority support on Senate panel Two key Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are signaling they won't back CIA Director Mike Pompeo for secretary of state, a sign that his nomination as the top US diplomat is likely to face a rebuke by falling short of a majority on the panel. In interviews with CNN, Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Jeanne Shaheen -- who sit on the panel and backed Pompeo's nomination to be CIA director -- say they are harboring concerns with the nominee, a clear signal they may vote against him. In addition, Republican Rand Paul also told CNN that the hearing "really solidified" his opposition to Pompeo.

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Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 Republican leader, said the possibility of an unfavorable panel vote is growing, but he also said that Pompeo is likely to clear the full chamber. “I suspect he’s got the votes once he gets to the floor,” Thune said.

Pompeo won bipartisan support when he was confirmed as CIA director -- with 15 Senate Democrats backing him -- but he’s running into more significant resistance this time around. Many Democrats argue he’s too hawkish on U.S. policy toward Iran, North Korea and elsewhere to lead the diplomatic corps.

Senator Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat on the panel who backed Pompeo for CIA chief, said on Sunday that he won’t support him for secretary of state because he believes Pompeo lacks the temperament for the job.

In bumpy road to confirmation, Pompeo faces committee vote

  In bumpy road to confirmation, Pompeo faces committee vote <p>The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote on Monday on President Donald Trump's nominee to be secretary of state, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who could be the first nominee for the position not to win support from the panel.</p>That would not stop his Senate confirmation, but it could cast a shadow on his relationship with Congress.

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It’s the latest blow for the nominee after a number of other committee Democrats indicated last week they also probably won’t back him. Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, another panel member, is opposing him, a significant blow since Republicans hold a one-seat majority on the committee.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker told reporters the panel will vote on Trump’s pick early next week. Corker said he continues to hold out hope that Pompeo, a former House lawmaker, will pick up backing from at least one Democrat on the panel.

Corker said it will be up to GOP leaders to decide what to do if Pompeo can’t muster the votes at committee level.

“Conjecture is bad for your health,” he said when asked what would happen next. “Let’s see what happens in committee and then we’ll figure out where to go from there.”

It would be unprecedented for a secretary of state nominee to lack enough support on the committee.

Heitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for Secretary of State

  Heitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for Secretary of State Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) said Thursday that she will support President Trump's nomination of CIA director Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, virtually guaranteeing he will win confirmation.&nbsp;Heitkamp, who faces a difficult reelection race this fall in a state Trump won by double-digits, becomes the first Senate Democrat to announce her support for Pompeo.

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Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 advantage in the Senate , so Paul's opposition -- and possible opposition to Haspel from Arizona GOP Sen. While GOP leaders could still move the nomination to the full Senate for a vote -- where Pompeo might be able to get at least 51 votes to be confirmed

It’s also extremely rare for a nominee to be rejected by a committee and then to go on to full Senate confirmation. The Senate Historical Office says that hasn’t happened since 2001, when Theodore Olson was confirmed as U.S. solicitor general after the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected his selection on a 9-9 vote.

With GOP Senator John McCain of Arizona absent for brain cancer treatments, Republicans have 50 votes in the Senate compared with the Democrats’ 49. With Paul’s “no” vote, Pompeo would need at least one Democrat to back him if everyone else voted.

Corker said he holds out hope that some Democrats will back Pompeo as a potentially good influence on an unpredictable president. Some Democratic panel members -- including Chris Coons of Delaware and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire -- haven’t taken a public stand yet, although they’ve expressed some reservations about Pompeo.

“I do understand how on the Democratic side many view this as a proxy on President Trump’s overall foreign policy, but I would hope at the end of the day some of the members would want to have a highly qualified person weighing in,” Corker said.

At his confirmation hearing last week, senators pressed Pompeo to avoid becoming a “yes man” for Trump’s foreign-policy impulses if he’s confirmed. In the hearing, the CIA director walked back past comments about Iran and North Korea that critics say proved him a hard-liner.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Litvan in Washington at llitvan@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Kevin Whitelaw, Laurie Asséo

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

Former senior government officials come out in support of Pompeo .
A bipartisan group of former senior government officials expressed their support of CIA Director Mike Pompeo for secretary of State in a letter Wednesday.&nbsp;The letter, addressed to Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Bob Menedez (D-N.J.), was signed by 30 national security experts. It comes a day ahead of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Thursday confirmation hearing for Pompeo.

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