U.S. Senate committee backs Tillerson as Trump's secretary of state

President Trump's choice for secretary of state narrowly won approval from a Senate committee on Monday.

AP Photo/Steve Helber
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,, right, pats Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson , left, on the shoulder after his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017.

U.S. President Donald Trump's choice for secretary of state, former Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson, narrowly won approval from a Senate committee on Monday but is expected to win confirmation from the full Senate.

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 11-10 to approve Tillerson, with every committee Republican backing Tillerson and every Democrat opposing his nomination.

His backing by the committee had been in doubt until earlier on Monday, when Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a committee member, said he planned to back Tillerson.

His confirmation vote in the 100-member Senate, where Republicans hold a 52-seat majority, is not expected before next week.

Rubio said he was troubled by Tillerson's comments during his confirmation hearing regarding Russia as well as other countries, but that he ultimately decided he would vote to approve the nominee in deference to Trump, as well as to fill a critical top job.

Democrats who voted against Tillerson said their concerns included fears that he might move to lift sanctions on Russia, where he did business for years as an Exxon executive, questions about his views on human rights and unhappiness that he would not promise to recuse himself from matters related to Exxon during his entire term as the top U.S. diplomat.

Tillerson said during his hearing that he would recuse himself only for the one year required by law.

Tillerson also angered some lawmakers during the hearing by saying he did not know that Exxon Mobil had lobbied against Russian sanctions while he was running the company.

Senator Ben Cardin, the committee's ranking Democrat, said Tillerson's "business orientation" and responses at his hearing "could compromise his ability as secretary of state to forcefully promote the values and ideals that have defined our country and our leading role in the world for more than 200 years."

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to U.S. Senate committee backs Tillerson as Trump's secretary of state
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today