New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen on Tuesday became the latest member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to oppose CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination for secretary of state.
“The Secretary of State is a policy-making position and I continue to have deep concerns regarding Mr. Pompeo’s past statements and policy views, particularly in regards to the LGBTQ community, American Muslims and women’s reproductive rights,” Shaheen said in a statement. “For these reasons, I have concluded that I cannot support Director Pompeo to lead the State Department at this critical time.”
Shaheen’s statement underscores the difficult situation Pompeo faces after President Donald Trump tapped him to replace ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine said previously he would vote against Pompeo’s nomination despite supporting him for CIA director last year. Shaheen was the only other Democrat on the committee to support Pompeo as CIA director.
United Democratic opposition along with a “no” vote from Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul would mean the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to vote against the Pompeo nomination. If brought to the floor for a full confirmation vote after a failure before the committee, it would be the first instance for a secretary of state nominee since the committee began conducting business in open session in 1925.
Republicans have indicated they plan to bring Pompeo’s nomination to the floor – even with an unfavorable rating from the committee – and are courting moderate Democrats up for re-election this year to help him receive full confirmation.
Pompeo appeared before the committee last week for his confirmation hearing and faced sharp questions over foreign policy and the ongoing special counsel investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. Kaine and Shaheen expressed skepticism about Pompeo as secretary of state following that hearing.
CNN’s Manu Raju and Ted Barrett contributed to this report.