The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the confirmation of Mike Pompeo to be the next secretary of state, sending the vote to the full Senate.
Monday’s decision came after Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) unexpectedly reversed his earlier decision to vote against Pompeo, securing approval from the committee.
“After calling continuously for weeks for Director Pompeo to support President Trump’s belief that the Iraq war was a mistake, and that it is time to leave Afghanistan, today I received confirmation that Director Pompeo agrees with President Trump,” Paul said. “President Trump believes that Iraq was a mistake, that regime change has destabilized the region and that we must end our involvement with Afghanistan. Having received assurances from President Trump and Director Pompeo that he agrees with the president on these important issues, I have decided to support his nomination.”
Pompeo's nomination now goes to the full Senate, where the vote is expected to go in his favor. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he looks forward to voting to confirm the nominee this week.
Monday’s vote doesn’t come without controversy. During his confirmation hearing, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) told Pompeo he wouldn't vote for him because of his Biblical opposition to gay marriage, applying a religious litmus test for the job.
Then on Facebook, Booker implied that people with biblical views, like Pompeo, are responsible for depression and social problems among homosexuals.
"At a time when suicide rates for gay youth are painfully high; at a time when gay youth make up an unacceptable level—40 percent—of homeless youth; ...what does it mean that we elevate a man to be our Secretary of State—4th in line to the presidency—who believes that a gay youth is a perversion?"
Because of his statements, Booker is now being accused by faith leaders of discriminating against people of faith.
Pompeo is one of the president's cabinet members who attends a weekly Bible study led by Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries.
Before becoming head of the CIA, Pompeo served as a member of Congress from Kansas.
He also served in the military for nearly a decade - leaving with the rank of captain before graduating from Harvard Law School.