Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that Mike Pompeo’s confirmation hearing for secretary of state will be in April, but didn’t specify a specific date.
“I had a very good conversation with Director Pompeo this morning and look forward to meeting with him soon,” Corker said in a statement. “As I shared with the President, the committee will consider his nomination as expeditiously as possible.”
Pompeo has already been through a nomination hearing last year when he was nominated to head the CIA, which was confirmed by the Senate 66 to 32.
Corker separately told reporters on Capitol Hill that he’d spoken with President Donald Trump and with Pompeo Tuesday morning and praised the decision.
Sen. John Cornyn, the second ranking Republican in the chamber, told reporters he was concerned with having two confirmation hearings, one for Pompeo and one for his replacement heading the CIA, considering Congress’ legislative schedule for the year.
“With everything else we have to do around here, having the prospect of two additional confirmation fights perhaps is going to be a challenge,” the GOP Texan said.
On the immediate agenda are a banking bill, a bill to fight sex trafficking and a proposal to avert a government shutdown ahead of a deadline next week.
Cornyn continued: “It would help us get more things done if there weren’t so many distractions. But that is why we do our job here and they do their job at the White House.”
He also said he is confident that Pompeo will be confirmed by the Senate.
The White House announced Tuesday morning the President’s decision to replace Rex Tillerson with Pompeo as secretary of state, as well as the move to nominate Gina Haspel as CIA director. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that Trump asked Tillerson to step aside. Trump “thought it was the right time for the transition with the upcoming North Korea talks and various trade negotiations,” a senior administration official said. “POTUS asked Tillerson to step aside on Friday.”
Haspel’s confirmation hearing has not yet been set.