WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - There’s one hurdle left for former Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo on his way to the State Department. The current CIA director, tapped by President Trump to become Secretary of State, has faced pushback throughout his confirmation process. His nomination is on its way to the Senate floor after avoiding a symbolic setback Monday. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voting 11 to nine in favor of Pompeo to become the next Secretary of State. The vote came after widespread speculation that the former Kansas Congressman would not receive a favorable recommendation.
Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) says obstruction in the Senate has delayed Pompeo's confirmation.
“This whole Senate has a history of being extremely obstructionist,” said Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS).
Marshall says he is glad committee members came around. His colleague Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS) says it’s time to get Pompeo in office so he can start his work on the international stage for folks in Kansas.
“We need to have our best and brightest resources in there working to help make sure things happen,” said Estes.
A question mark in committee was Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) who vowed to vote no on Pompeo. He had questions about Pompeo’s beliefs on regime change and the Iraq War, but eventually voted yes after he says he cleared up concerns with the White House.
“I’m glad that he kept an open mind and heard what he needed to hear from Director Pompeo knowing he’ll be a good Secretary of State,” said Marc Short, Director of Legislative Affairs at the White House.
Short says there should be more support for a nominee he considers to be perfectly qualified. The committee vote was along party lines, and some Democratic senators have expressed concerns about Pompeo’s ability to conduct diplomacy.
“Unfortunately this town’s become so polarized right now that even somebody as qualified as Mike Pompeo...Democrats seem more...excited to vote against,” said Short.
Just last year, 14 Democrats voted to confirm Pompeo to run the CIA. Three Democratic senators have already pledged support when his Secretary of State nomination comes to a full Senate vote.