WASHINGTON (AP) – A procedural vote in the Senate on Donald Trump’s secretary of state nominee sets up an extended debate over the president’s executive order barring refugees for at least four months and the direction of U.S. policy toward Russia.
Rex Tillerson needs the backing of 51 senators Monday evening to put his nomination on track for confirmation later this week in the Republican-led chamber.
Although many Democrats oppose Tillerson, they’ll need at least several Republicans to join them to derail the nomination.
That appears unlikely even after two of the Senate’s leading GOP voices on national security criticized Trump for failing to consult with key federal agencies before issuing the travel ban.
Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have tepidly endorsed Tillerson, Exxon Mobil’s former CEO.