Senate Vote Leaves Former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson One Step Away From Secretary of State

WASHINGTON -- Rex Tillerson's bid for secretary of state received a preliminary nod Monday from the Senate, in spite of continuing international and domestic turmoil over President Donald Trump's orders last week to limit certain migration to the U.S.The Senate voted 56-43 on a procedural measure to clear the way for the former Exxon Mobil chief executive's final confirmation on Wednesday - at the latest.Tillerson's fate on Monday was never in question. That's because Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and other Republican critics had already signaled their support for Tillerson even amid lingering concerns about his deep business ties and coziness with Russian President Vladimir Putin.But the vote still exposed the partisan tumult stirred by Trump's order to freeze refugee admissions, along with travel to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries.Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tried an ill-fated, last-minute maneuver to delay the vote until Tillerson could weigh in on the orders. All but four Democrats or independents voted against the native Texan. And several Democrats blistered Tillerson on the Senate floor.  Continue reading...

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