Pompeo Initial Nomination Vote Fails on Technicality – Yet GOP Chair Manages to Get It Passed

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has just voted to "recommend" CIA Director Mike Pompeo to become Secretary of State, in a wildly unusual move by the Republican Chairman.

The nomination vote had failed on a technicality. The vote was 11-10,  with one Republican not present and voting by proxy – which is a clear violation of official Senate rules. Only members present may vote, which means the actual vote was 10-10.

But Chairman Bob Corker worked very hard to report out the nomination as the committee voting to "recommend," noting it would be historic to send a "not recommended" nominee to the full Senate.

Pompeo has the votes in the full Senate to become Secretary of State. It would be extraordinary for the Senate to confirm Pompeo after the committee did not vote to recommend him.

Senator Rand Paul (photo, left) had promised to vote against Pompeo in committee, which would also have derailed Pompeo's nomination. He flip-flopped an hour before the actual vote.

Chairman Corker asked for one Democrat to choose to vote "present," which would make the vote 10-9.

Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware conceded, and voted present.

Pompeo's nomination is officially now recommended, and he is all but guaranteed to be confirmed by the full Senate later this week.


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