Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who chairs the committee, blamed partisan politics for opposition to Pompeo, saying Pompeo is just as qualified as past secretaries of state nominees Hillary Clinton or John Kerry, both of whom received overwhelming support. He also complained more broadly that Democrats would not help in approving "hundreds of good people" and were slowing down the confirmation process of his nominees.
Trump lashed out Monday morning on Twitter, leaving no doubt that he plans to stand by his decision to pick Pompeo, the current Central Intelligence Agency director, to fill the departed Rex Tillerson's shoes.
Critics say Pompeo is too conservative to represent the country on the world stage, given past harsh remarks about Islam and homosexuality and fears he would favor military action over diplomacy and be too likely to agree with Trump rather than step back and give his best advice to the commander in chief. Heidi Heitkamp, a North Dakota Democrat, announced her support last week, one group called on her to switch. A full Senate vote is expected to be very close.
Senior White House officials on Monday urged Democrats and a key Republican to reconsider their positions on Mike Pompeo's nomination as secretary of state ahead of what could be an unfavorable committee vote later in the day.
The Foreign Relations panel was due to vote later on Monday on Pompeo, and he could become the first secretary of state nominee not to win the panel's support.
New Hampshire Democratic Sen. The senator 'is reviewing his record before making a final decision'.
The USA Today board registered its concerns about Pompeo's hawkish views, his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, and his agreement to pull out of the Paris Climate Accords.
Mike Pompeo spent his Easter working in a tense diplomatic environment to prevent a nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula from spiraling out of control.
"Each president of the United States has the right to select his cabinet and, absent some major nominee flaw, it is incumbent upon the Senate to confirm those nominees so that the president can put together the team he needs to properly carry out his duties".
There are 11 of Trump's fellow Republicans and 10 Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee.
"I realize my Democratic friends in many cases feel like that in supporting Pompeo, it's a proxy for support of the Trump administration policies, which many of them abhor".