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Senate Committee Favorably Approves Pompeo's Nomination As Secretary Of State

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Following a last-minute reversal by Senator Rand Paul, R-Ken., the Senate Foreign Relations Committee favorably reported CIA Director Mike Pompeo's nomination as Secretary of State to the full Senate for consideration on Monday.

The committee voted 11 to 9 in favor of advancing Pompeo's nomination, with Democratic Senator Chris Coons, D-Del., voting "present" and Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Geo., voting by proxy.

Pompeo appeared at risk of becoming the first Secretary of State nominee not to win a favorable recommendation from the committee until Paul announced his support.

Paul previously express opposition to Pompeo's nomination but said he received confirmation that the former congressman agrees with President Donald Trump that the Iraq war was a mistake and that it is time to leave Afghanistan.

"President Trump believes that Iraq was a mistake, that regime change has destabilized the region, and that we must end our involvement with Afghanistan," Paul said in a post on Twitter.

He added, "Having received assurances from President Trump and Director Pompeo that he agrees with the President on these important issues, I have decided to support his nomination to be our next Secretary of State."

The vote to advance Pompeo's nomination could still have been held up by the absence of Isakson, who was delivering a eulogy at a close friend's funeral.

Senate rules prevent a member who is not present from casting the determinative vote to favorably advance a nomination.

Coons subsequently changed his vote to "present" to allow the nomination to move forward without having to wait for Isakson to return to Washington.

With three red state Democrats expressing support for Pompeo's nomination, the full Senate is almost certain to vote to confirm him as Secretary of State later this week.

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