Manchin voices support for Pompeo nomination

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced Monday he will vote to confirm Mike Pompeo as the next secretary of state, making Pompeo’s nomination closer to approval.

Manchin, who voted to confirm Pompeo as CIA director in January 2017, said the decision came after meeting with Pompeo and discussing his foreign policy agenda.

“During this sensitive diplomatic time, it’s important our next Secretary of State understands the grave threats facing our nation and can offer diplomatic solutions to avoid conflict, as soon as possible,” Manchin said in a statement. “I believe he will represent our interests well across the world and provide wise counsel to President Trump on our foreign policy. Mike Pompeo will bring a unique perspective to the State Department and is the right person to lead the department to achieve our country’s foreign policy goals.”

Manchin’s statement was followed hours later by another Democratic senator, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, who said he will vote to confirm Pompeo. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., announced last week she would vote in favor of the nomination.

Manchin, Donnelly and Heitkamp are up for reelection this year in states President Donald Trump won in the 2016 presidential election.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who previously opposed Pompeo’s nomination, said he will vote to confirm Pompeo as secretary of state.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. remains undecided.

Pompeo’s nomination is facing opposition by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The full Senate is expected to vote on the nomination this week.

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