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With Committee One Vote Shy of Rejecting Pompeo, Will Senate Democrats Unite Against Trump War Cabinet?

"A vote to confirm Pompeo will be a vote of approval for Trump's disastrous foreign policy and the war cabinet he is building around him."

CodePink members and allies gather with leading senators to demand that the Senate vote to reject Mike Pompeo's nomination for Secretary of State at US Capitol on April 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for MoveOn.org)

Now that nine Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have publicly vowed to oppose Mike Pompeo's confirmation as secretary of state, all eyes are on Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Wednesday as just one more no vote is needed to ensure the current CIA director isn't approved by the panel before he heads to the Senate floor for a full vote.

Coons—who voted against Pompeo's confirmation as CIA chief last year—is the only Democrat on the committee who has yet to come out against Pompeo as he vies to replace Rex Tillerson as America's top diplomat. Anti-war groups are demanding a "wave" of pressure to ensure the Delaware senator joins his colleagues in opposition to a nominee who has been denounced as a warmonger and "committed Islamophobe."

"A vote to confirm Pompeo will be a vote of approval for Trump's disastrous foreign policy and the war cabinet he is building around him," declared Win Without War on Tuesday.

While he will still proceed to the Senate floor for a full vote even if he is voted down by the Foreign Relations Committee, advocacy groups have argued that handing Pompeo a loss in committee will send a strong signal to so-called moderate Democrats to unite against him in a floor vote.

"It would change the calculus for senators on the floor," Elizabeth Beavers, foreign policy manager for Indivisible, told The Intercept last week.

Because Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) have already vowed to vote no, Democrats have the power to block Pompeo's nomination if they unite against him.

While 18 senators have vowed to vote against Pompeo as of this writing—Win Without War provides a full whip count here—27 Democrats and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) have yet to state publicly whether they will oppose Pompeo's confirmation:

Baldwin, Tammy (D-Wis.)
Bennet, Michael F. (D-Col.)
Brown, Sherrod (D-Ohio)
Casey, Bob (D-Penn.)
Cantwell, Maria (D-Wash.)
Carper, Thomas R. (D-Del.)   
Coons, Christopher, A. (D-Del.)
Cortez Masto, Catherine (D-Nev.)
Donnelly, Joe (D-Ind.)
Duckworth, Tammy (D-Ill.)
Durbin, Richard J. (D-Ill.)
Heinrich, Martin (D-N.M.)
Heitkamp, Heidi (D-N.D.)
Hirono, Mazie K. (D-Hawaii)
Jones, Doug (D-Ala.) 
Klobuchar, Amy (D-Minn.)
Leahy, Patrick J. (D-Vt.)
Manchin, Joe (D-W.V.)
McCaskill, Claire (D-Mont.)
Murray, Patty (D-Wash.) 
Nelson, Bill (D-Fla.)
Peters, Gary (D-Mich.)
Reed, Jack (D-R.I.)
Schumer, Charles (D-N.Y.) 
Stabenow, Debbie (D-Mich.)
Tester, Jon (D-Mont.)
Warner, Mark R. (D-Va.) 

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