For a brief moment, the road to confirmation for Rex Tillerson, President Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, could have been bumpy, with Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) grilling of the nominee during the hearings. There was speculation that if Rubio voted against Tillerson, he could sink his nomination. Yet, that was all theater. Rubio backed Tillerson, and with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ supporting his nomination it was, as Guy put it, clear sailing for the former Exxon Mobile CEO.
In the end, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee officially gave Tillerson their stamp of approval (via WaPo):
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee split along party lines Monday to endorse Rex Tillerson as the country’s next secretary of state, setting up a confirmation vote in the full Senate that is all but guaranteed to succeed.
Republicans unanimously backed Tillerson in the 11-to-10 vote, after key Republicans who had voiced criticism of Tillerson opted to support his nomination.
Chief among them was Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a committee member who announced Monday morning that he would support Tillerson despite concerns about how Tillerson would approach Russia and other countries Rubio counts as human rights violators, resolving the final major question surrounding Rex Tillerson’s bid to be confirmed as the nation’s top diplomat.
Thanks to the Reid rule, which inly requires a simple majority to confirm non-Supreme Court appointee by the president, Tillerson is all but set to helm the State Department.