Former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson is one step closer to making a final decision in the Senate in regards to potentially becoming the next secretary of state.
On Monday the Senate voted 56-43 to limit the debate on the nomination to 30 hours, in return, this will likely set up a floor vote in the Senate Wednesday.
At the moment, Republicans are controlling the Senate by a 52-48 margin. Tillerson’s confirmation is believed to be assure now that Senator Marco Rubio, R – Fla., Sen. Lindsey Graham, R – S.C., and John McCain, R – Az., have retracted their earlier opposition. A cloture vote, which is designed to prevent filibustering, only calls for a simply majority of 51 votes.
But President Donald Trump’s pick for the country’s top diplomatic post remains controversial. Despite Tillerson’s nomination having been approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, every Democrat on the committee voted against him to leave a thin 11-10 margin – Defense Secretary Jim Mattis won the Senate Armed Services Committee’s confirmation by a 24-3 margin.
Both Democrats and Republicans alike have shown their misgivings about Tillerson’s past business dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin while at Exxon. As well as his refusal to publicly chastise Putin and other leaders that have been accused of abusing human rights during a confirmation hearing earlier this month.
“I remain concerned that in the years to come, our country will not give the defense of democracy and human rights the priority they deserve,” Rubio wrote in a Facebook post last week. “Given the uncertainty that exists both at home and abroad about the direction of our foreign policy, it would be against our national interests to have this confirmation unnecessarily delayed or embroiled in controversy.”
Article written by HEI contributor Lydia Ezeakor.