Pro-life conservative Mike Pompeo became the new Secretary of State on Thursday when the U.S. Senate voted 57 to 42 to confirm his nomination.
Pompeo leaves his role as the director of the CIA to take the new, high level position. A former U.S. Congressman from Kansas, Pompeo has a long record of supporting pro-life legislation.
The Washington Examiner reports six Democrats and one independent who leans Democrat crossed party lines and voted to confirm him. Many lawmakers faced pressure from the pro-abortion lobby to oppose Pompeo.
According to the report, Democrats who confirmed Pompeo included Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Bill Nelson of Florida, as well as Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine.
Immediately after the vote, pro-life leaders praised President Donald Trump’s choice for the position.
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said Pompeo has demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting human life.
“The State Department is the first line of enforcement for President Trump’s pro-life agenda in foreign policy, from preventing American tax dollars from being used to promote abortion overseas, to defunding the UNFPA which has long been complicit in China’s brutal population control regime, to standing up to the international abortion lobby’s demand to declare abortion a ‘human right,’” Dannenfelser said. “We congratulate Pompeo on his confirmation and thank President Trump for nominating pro-life leaders to serve in his Cabinet.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins also expressed strong hopes for Pompeo.
“As Secretary of State, I have no doubt that Mike Pompeo will make international religious freedom a foreign policy priority – a matter which is especially important given that we now know religious freedom, long protected for its own sake, is also intricately connected to the security and prosperity of nations themselves,” Perkins said.
“We will only have sustainable, long-term peace if we actually make religious freedom a foreign policy priority. Mike Pompeo understands this and will make it happen as Secretary of State,” Perkins continued.
Pro-life Senators also celebrated the confirmation Thursday.
“I think he’s one of the most outstanding nominees we could have for this position,” said U.S. Senator Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee. “I did not know him well when the process began. I knew he had done a very good job as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. But I have to tell you, through the process of him going through the confirmation hearings and the conversations we’ve had, the meetings we’ve had, I think he’s going to be exemplary.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, said Pompeo brings a wealth of experience to the job.
“Based on his experience as CIA Director, an Army officer, a congressman, and his proven leadership on national security matters, he is eminently qualified to serve as our nation’s top diplomat. It is a shame that his nomination encountered partisan headwinds at a time when the U.S. and our allies face mounting national security threats,” Rubio said. “I look forward to working him and I am confident that he will successfully advance U.S. interests abroad, including the promotion of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.”
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Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner added: “Pomepo was first in his class at West Point, served as a member of the House Intelligence Committee, was a successful business owner, and an effective CIA Director. Unfortunately, too many of my colleagues ignored these accolades and voted against him for purely political reasons. We should not play politics with an important national security position such as Secretary of State.”
Initially, there were fears that Pompeo would not be confirmed. The Senate is very narrowly held by Republicans. Key swing votes in Pompeo’s favor included 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, 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?”
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.”