Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, appears likely to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
On Monday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recommended the pro-life conservative for the position after a narrow vote, the AP reports. Pompeo currently is the director of the CIA. A former U.S. Congressman from Kansas, Pompeo has a long record of supporting pro-life legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted that Pompeo will be confirmed, according to the Courier Journal.
“The Pompeo nomination has now been reported out of the Foreign Relations Committee, and there are sufficient votes in the Senate to ensure that he will be confirmed this week as our nation’s next Secretary of State,” McConnell’s office said in a statement.
“In Mike Pompeo, the United States will have a chief diplomat who enjoys the total confidence of the president, and who’s uniquely qualified to reinvigorate our Foreign Service and represent our interests abroad,” McConnell said. “It is hard to imagine a better nominee for this mission, at this moment, than Mike Pompeo.”
Key swing votes in Pompeo’s favor include Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who switched to a “yes” vote after meeting with Trump, and two moderately pro-life Democrats, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana who said they will support his nomination, according to the AP.
Another Democrat, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, switched from a “yes” vote to a “no” vote last week, supposedly after pressure from abortion activists to oppose Pompeo.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas questioned Shaheen’s decision after she made the announcement.
“Very disappointing from @SenatorShaheen,” Cotton wrote on Twitter. “She expressed admiration for Director Pompeo at his hearing, now she opposes a Secretary of State nominee because of his pro-life views? How many Republcians [sic] opposed Hillary or Kerry over their extreme abortion views?”
On Monday, however, fellow New Hampshire Democrat Sen. Maggie Hassan also said she will vote against Pompeo, despite supporting his nomination as CIA director.
“I am concerned that Mr. Pompeo has not demonstrated an understanding that the Secretary of State has an obligation to the American people to stand up for our core values,” she said.
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The Democratic Party considers the killing of unborn babies for any reason up to birth a value in its platform.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders praised the committee for moving forward with Pompeo’s nomination, and accused Democrats of “pointless obstruction.”
“A majority of Democrats continue their pointless obstruction to score cheap political points with their base as a willful attempt to undermine American diplomacy,” Sanders said.
From 1986 to 1991, Pompeo served in the U.S. Army as an Armor Branch cavalry officer. He served as a United States Cavalry officer patrolling the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He also served with the 2nd Squadron, 7th Cavalry in the 4th Infantry Division in the Gulf War.
In 1994, Pompeo received a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
A former U.S. Congressman, Pompeo said he believes life begins at conception.
“As a Kansan, I hold a deep reverence for the sanctity of life, the solidarity of family, and the solemnity of marriage,” he said previously. “I will continue the fight to uphold these fundamental ideals each and every day. I am, and always will be pro-life and will defend life from conception to natural death. I will continue to oppose any taxpayer funding for abortion.”