The Latest: Tillerson nomination clears a Senate hurdle
WASHINGTON – The Latest on Senate consideration of President Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees (all times local):
President Donald Trump's nomination of Rex Tillerson for secretary of state has cleared a hurdle in the Senate.
The 56-43 vote on Monday puts Tillerson's bid to be the nation's chief diplomat on track for confirmation later this week.
The vote also sets the stage for a lengthy debate over the president's order banning travel from specific Muslim-majority countries.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York pressed unsuccessfully for a delay in the vote until Tillerson answered for Trump's travel ban order.
The order bars individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days. Trump has said the move is aimed at protecting the nation against extremists.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York says he will vote against eight of President Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees.
Schumer said he'll oppose education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos (dih-VAHS'), secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson, attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, health and human services nominee Tom Price, treasury secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin (mih-NOO'-chin), labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder, Environmental Protection Agency nominee Scott Pruitt and budget director nominee Mick Mulvaney.
Schumer called the picks "billionaires and bankers" and asked whether the country wants to be "one that helps the middle class and those struggling to get there or one that further rigs the system in favor of the special interests?"
The Senate will hold a test vote on Tillerson's nomination Monday, and committees will vote on several other nominations this week.
A procedural vote in the Senate on Donald Trump's secretary of state nominee sets up an extended debate over the president's executive order barring refugees for at least four months and the direction of U.S. policy toward Russia.
Rex Tillerson needs the backing of 51 senators Monday evening to put his nomination on track for confirmation later this week in the Republican-led chamber.
Although many Democrats oppose Tillerson, they'll need at least several Republicans to join them to derail the nomination.
That appears unlikely even after two of the Senate's leading GOP voices on national security criticized Trump for failing to consult with key federal agencies before issuing the travel ban.
Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have tepidly endorsed Tillerson, Exxon Mobil's former CEO.