President Donald Trump’s choice to become Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, to be Secretary of State is not very popular as far as the members of the Senate Foreign Relations committee are concerned.
Last month, Trump fired (now) former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and announced he had nominated Pompeo for the job.
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
And since then, Trump is singing Pompeo’s praises and calling for the Senate to confirm him immediately.
Good luck to Mike Pompeo during his Confirmation Hearing today. He will be a great Secretary of State!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2018
Mike Pompeo is outstanding. First in his class at West Point. A top student at Harvard Law School. A success at whatever he has done. We need the Senate to approve Mike ASAP. He will be a great Secretary of State!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 19, 2018
But, so far, Pompeo hasn’t been well-received by the Senate, especially the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
As of Friday, Pompeo lacks the votes necessary to secure a recommendation from the powerful committee after Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) announced that he couldn’t vote in his favor. Sen. Coons said:
“I remain concerned that Director Pompeo will not challenge the President in critical moments. On vital decisions facing our country, Director Pompeo seems less concerned with rule of law and partnership with our allies and more inclined to emphasize unilateral action and the use of force.”
Indeed, one of the reasons why Trump fired Tillerson is because the two differed on the Iran nuclear deal.
Trump has been obsessed with withdrawing from the agreement while Tillerson defended it. Tillerson also urged Trump to continue honoring the deal because Iran complies with it.
Pompeo, on the other hand, is a war hawk who opposes the deal and would likely urge Trump to rip it up and go to war with Iran, not exactly a trait Americans want in a Secretary of State, the top diplomat in our government.
Being the head of the State Department means advocating for diplomacy as opposed to warfare as much as possible. The Secretary of State should act as a counter-balance to the Secretary of Defense.
Despite his failure to win over the committee, Pompeo could still be confirmed by the Senate, even with an unfavorable recommendation.
According to The Hill:
“Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) could try to move Pompeo’s nomination to the floor with an unfavorable recommendation.
Democrats on the committee have yet to tip their hand about if they will allow Pompeo’s nomination to move to the floor with an unfavorable recommendation or if they will try to kill his prospects in the committee.
If they don’t help move him to the floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could try to discharge Pompeo’s nomination from committee, which could ultimately require 60 votes.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote on Pompeo’s nomination on Monday.
Featured Image by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons/CC-By-SA-2.0.