Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, railed against President Donald Trump's decision to nominate Mike Pompeo for secretary of state Friday, arguing that the country's "top diplomat should embody the best of America's values, not defend torture, promote division, ignore human rights or rubber stamp all presidential positions".
But the panel vote would mark a highly unusual rebuke to a key member of President Donald Trump's foreign policy team, and there is no example in modern history of a secretary of state nominee failing to win a committee endorsement and still being confirmed by the full Senate.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee scheduled a committee vote for Pompeo for Monday at 5:00 p.m.
A moderate up for re-election this year in North Dakota, a state Trump won easily in 2016, Heitkamp is the first Senate Democrat to back the nominee.
When then-Rep. Mike Pompeo was confirmed to serve as the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, he was confirmed by a large margin, 66-32.
Sen. Chris Coons of DE, the last committee Democrat to disclose how he'll vote, said calls are coming in overwhelmingly opposed to Pompeo.
Pompeo's meeting with Paul came after Trump, who is spending the week at his resort in Palm Beach, said Wednesday he wasn't anxious about Pompeo's confirmation and that Paul would come through for him. That is unless a Democrat changes his or her mind. "I don't think that's where her focus is", he said.
Gardner also supports Pompeo because their views align on North Korea, both agreeing that the North Korean nuclear program poses the biggest threat to the United States. But I have a feeling it's going to work out very well, and I think our country really needs him.
"I would always rather have more preparation with this administration rather than less because so often they just show up and kind of wing it", said Wyden. "Now I don't expect diplomacy to be negotiated out in the open, but I do expect for someone who is the nominee to be secretary of state, when he speaks with the committee leadership, and when he was asked specific questions about North Korea, to share some insights about such a visit".
"I've known Director Pompeo for eight years", Gardner said.
Committee chair Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., acknowledged "it doesn't look promising" that Pompeo will clear the committee.
"Pompeo demonstrated during this nomination process and during our meeting in March that he is committed to empowering the diplomats at the State Department so they can do their jobs in advancing American interests", she said in a statement Thursday.
Other Democrats have been lining up against Pompeo.
Sergio Gor, Paul's deputy chief of staff, said the senator had agreed to meet with Pompeo but nothing else had changed.