Senate confirms Kansas' Pompeo for CIA

Published: Jan. 23, 2017 at 1:50 PM CST
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The Senate confirms President Donald Trump's pick to run the CIA.

The confirmation means Mike Pompeo will resign his seat in the U.S. Congress.

Pompeo, a conservative Republican, is a member of the House intelligence committee. He faced a mostly no confrontational confirmation hearing earlier this month.

Monday, the Senate voted 66-32 to confirm Pompeo as CIA Director. The confirmation included backing from some Democratic lawmakers.

Pompeo's transition to CIA Director means he's resigning from Congress. Monday, he issued the following letter on the announcement:

Greetings, Six years and two weeks ago, I was sworn in for the first time as a member of the United States House of Representatives with the Constitutional duty to represent the people of the Fourth District of Kansas. It has been a true privilege to do so. So, my resignation from that duty today marks a turn in my service to each of you. Later today, I anticipate being sworn in to a new role: Director, Central Intelligence Agency. The mission to which President Trump has assigned me is a tough, important, and noble charge. I am looking forward to this next opportunity to serve our nation alongside our intelligence warriors. I will miss spending time with the people of South Central Kansas as your Representative. Not everyone has agreed with me on everything -- no surprise there. But, truly, nearly everyone has been respectful, thoughtful and committed to the same end: ensuring the greatness of our state and our country. Nick, Susan, and I before my hearing in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee Whether it was telephone town halls or visiting hundreds of great small businesses, I always learned. I always gained a deeper appreciation of the uniquely special place that Susan and I will always call home. I was not able to complete my mission to visit every high school in South Central Kansas, but the thousands of students I met, and the scores and scores of schools I did visit, reinforced for me that the wonderful next generation will keep the seventeen counties I have represented committed to our nation’s traditional values of freedom and liberty. On my first day in office, I learned of the death of SSG Eric Nettleton in combat halfway around the world. I spoke with his father that first day, and he, at the moment of unimaginable personal anguish, spoke of his faith and mine, and of the love that Eric had in serving in our military. He prayed for me and my family as we began our service to Kansas and America. I have not forgotten that moment, and I never will. It was a greatness that is unique to America and throughout the people of Kansas. Susan, Nick and I will never be far away in thought. Thank you all for the trust you placed in me for these past six years. May the Lord continue to bless Kansas and the United States of America. Sincerely, Mike Pompeo Member of Congress

Pompeo also issued a formal resignation letter to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

"...I have genuinely been privileged to represent the people of South Central Kansas in Congress," Pompeo says. "Kansans are inspiring, inspiring, compassionate, and hard-working. To serve them in this fashion has been a true honor I will always cherish."

Also in his resignation letter, Pompeo says the call to lead the CIA was one he could not ignore.

"...I am truly honored that President Trump has given me this opportunity," he says. "The men and women of the CIA are the world's finest intelligence professionals the world has ever known. Their integrity, passion, and committing to keeping our nation safe is unquestionable. I am excited to lead them during this dangerous time around the world."

Senate Republicans had hoped to vote on Pompeo's nomination on Friday, after Trump's inauguration. But Democrats succeeded in stalling action until they could debate it on Monday.

Pompeo takes the helm at the nation's top spy agency at a critical time for U.S. national security when intelligence has been thrust into the political arena. It's traditionally a nonpartisan issue.