Hawley’s support came after he defended on Monday his prior record of not voting to advance any Biden Cabinet secretary nominees, insisting that he evaluates each pick individually.
“I take them one at a time, if there is someone I think will be good to Missouri, that I can defend to my voters, somebody who I think is going to be good for the job, I’ll vote for them,” Hawley told CNN’s Manu Raju on Monday, pointing to his support of a deputy defense nominee who was confirmed by the chamber through a voice vote.
So far, 13 of Biden’s 23 Cabinet-level nominees requiring Senate approval have been confirmed – with Hawley having opposed each one until Rouse. While it’s not at unusual for new presidents to run into trouble with some nominees, or even to see several potential Cabinet members fall, Hawley’s uniform opposition was notable even in a bitterly divided Senate.
But in a sign of his first roll call vote in favor of a nominee, Hawley had voted to advance Rouse’s nomination during Tuesday afternoon’s procedural vote. The final confirmation vote on Rouse was held Tuesday evening.
The Missouri senator has fielded a wave of backlash since January 6, when he and other Republicans in Congress raised objections to the counting of some Electoral College votes for Biden, pushing false claims of voter fraud that were echoed by members of the mob incited by former President Donald Trump.
But the insurrection that left five dead doesn’t appear to have shaken the senator’s loyalty to the former President.
Asked Monday if he had any concerns with Trump’s lie-filled remarks at the at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, over the weekend, Hawley said, “I don’t give him advice, and I’m not going to give you my emotional reactions to his quotes.”
Trump, he added, is “a guy with a strong point of view, he’s a former President and he’s not going anywhere.”
While Hawley said he doesn’t agree with Trump that the election was stolen, he declined on Monday to take issue with the former President’s remarks.
“He’s very consistent,” Hawley offered. “He’s going to say what he believes.”
This story and its headline have been updated to reflect Hawley’s vote to confirm Rouse.
CNN’s Manu Raju, Ali Zaslav, Ted Barrett and Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.