US Se­nate con­firms Tiller­son to head State

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By XIN­HUA and REUTERS

The US Se­nate con­firmed Rex Tiller­son as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s sec­re­tary of state on Wed­nes­day, fill­ing a key spot on the Repub­li­can’s na­tional se­cu­rity team de­spite con­cerns about the for­mer Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer’s ties to Rus­sia.

In the vote, 56 sen­a­tors backed Tiller­son, and 43 voted no. The tally was largely along party lines, with every Repub­li­can fa­vor­ing Tiller­son, along with four mem­bers of the Demo­cratic cau­cus, Sen­a­tors Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin and Mark Warner as well as An­gus King, an in­de­pen­dent.

Demo­cratic Se­na­tor Chris Coons did not vote.

Se­nate Democrats had tried, but failed, to de­lay the vote be­cause of Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der ban­ning im­mi­gra­tion from seven mostly Mus­lim coun­tries and tem­po­rar­ily halt­ing the en­try of refugees.

They said they wanted to ask Tiller­son more ques­tions about the is­sue after Trump signed the or­der on Fri­day.

Sen­a­tors had also ex­pressed con­cerns over Tiller­son’s ties to Rus­sia after the ex­ec­u­tive spent years there work­ing for the oil com­pany. Some faulted him for fail­ing to prom­ise to re­cuse him­self from mat­ters re­lated to Exxon Mobil busi­nesses for his en­tire term as sec­re­tary of state rather than only the one year re­quired by law.

Repub­li­cans said they thought Tiller­son would be a strong leader as the coun­try’s top diplo­mat. They also said it was im­por­tant to fill key slots on Trump’s na­tional se­cu­rity team quickly.

Rex Tiller­son, sec­re­tary of state

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