PoliticsForeign Policy


Rex Tillerson Is Officially Secretary Of State

The Senate confirmed Rex Tillerson 56-43 as the new head of the U.S. State Department.
Posted at 4:38 PM, Feb 01, 2017

Former Exxon head Rex Tillerson is officially the new U.S. secretary of state.

Tillerson was approved 56 to 43, with three Democrats and one Independent joining Republicans in approval.

The vote was unusually close for the position — Tillerson's predecessors easily cleared the 60-vote supermajority threshold.

That's probably because Senate Democrats have faced increasing pressure from their base to reject all of President Donald Trump's nominees.

Tillerson takes the helm at a difficult time for the State Department. Several top-level departures have left holes in the department's leadership structure. 

And more exits might be coming. Over 900 State Department diplomats signed a memo objecting to Trump's immigration ban. White House press secretary Sean Spicer recently suggested that any official who isn't on board with Trump's actions might have to leave their post.