Pompeo confirmation winnowing down to a handful of undecided Democrats

No Democrats have said yet they'll support Mike Pompeo, keeping the CIA director's fate unclear as the Senate prepare...

Posted: Apr 19, 2018 11:18 AM
Updated: Apr 19, 2018 11:18 AM

No Democrats have said yet they'll support Mike Pompeo, keeping the CIA director's fate unclear as the Senate prepares to vote on his nomination to be secretary of state.

With Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky already opposed and Sen. John McCain back in Arizona battling cancer, Republicans would need a single Democrat to vote in favor of Pompeo should each of the 49 remaining GOP members vote for the nomination. Should they lose more Republicans, more Democrats would be needed to get the nomination across the finish line.

A plot twist came Wednesday, however, when Paul said President Donald Trump had called and asked him to meet with Pompeo. "I'm open to meeting right now and we'll see what happens in the meeting," he said, adding that no date has been set.

"I will say this about Rand Paul: He's never let me down," Trump told reporters from his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

If Paul remains in the "no" column, Pompeo would still need to pick up at least one Democrat.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona could also be a wild card. He told CNN he had submitted questions to Pompeo after his confirmation hearing and "I'm still waiting for satisfactory answers." Flake, whose vote is doubly significant as he is a member of Foreign Relations Committee, said he is still undecided on how he will vote on Pompeo, indicating he "still has some issues."

Meanwhile, half of the Senate's 49 Democrats and independents have announced they plan to oppose the nomination, while the other half haven't said how they plan to vote.

Of the unknowns, all eyes are on a handful of moderate Democrats who Republicans are trying to win over, like Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Claire McCaskill of Missouri -- all of whom are up for re-election this year in states that Trump won by big margins in 2016.

"We're still talking," said Manchin, who met Tuesday with Pompeo. "We've had good conversations and are going to have some more."

Another undecided, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, said he is "leaning against" Pompeo's nomination, adding that his office is getting calls from constituents who are against Pompeo by a 50-to-1 margin.

"I am leaning against, but I will tell you I'm really trying to think this through and make a thoughtful judgment," Coons said in an interview with CNN.

Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, voted for Pompeo last year for CIA director and met with him Wednesday afternoon. He said "it was a good meeting" but would not engage on whether Pompeo will get his vote again.

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, voted against Pompeo last year and cited his recent secret North Korea trip as one reason he was opposing him this time around, saying Pompeo had been "less than forthcoming" with the committee during his hearing last week.

Some moderate Democrats, as well as independent Sen. Angus King of Maine, declined to weigh in, saying they want to discuss it with the nominee first. "I'm going to reserve my comments, and let me talk to Director Pompeo about all that," said Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat from Alabama.

Other moderate Democrats who are undecided on Pompeo's nomination say his North Korea trip is not a major concern. "It might be a positive thing, actually," said Sen. Jon Tester of Montana. "I look at it as a potential positive."

Heitkamp said she also didn't have concerns about Pompeo's meeting with Kim Jong Un as she decides whether to back him.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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