Three Democrat senators now say they support Mike Pompeo for secretary of state: Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Joe Manchin (WV), and Joe Donnelly (IN).
All three are Democrats in red states that went overwhelmingly for President Trump in 2016. Before they announced their support, Democrats had been lining up against Pompeo, threatening his confirmation.
With Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a libertarian, opposing Pompeo’s foreign policy stances, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) recovering from brain cancer treatment in Arizona, Republicans were one short of the 50 needed to confirm Pompeo.
Before they announced their support, it seemed that Democrats were attempting to sink Pompeo’s nomination, including some who had voted to confirm him as CIA director.
Senior Democrat Sens. Jack Reed (RI), Bob Menendez (NJ), Ben Cardin (MD), Chris Coons (DE), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), and Cory Booker (NJ) — all members of the Senate Armed Services or Foreign Relations Committees — had each announced their opposition to Pompeo.
A Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote to confirm Pompeo will be held Monday at 5 p.m. Eastern. With Paul voting against him, Pompeo is not expected to get a favorable vote from the committee, but his nomination is still expected to advance to the Senate for a vote.
Heitkamp’s announcement last week ensured that Republicans would have the votes to confirm Pompeo.