WASHINGTON—Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson’s private sector background will enable him to serve the United States with great integrity as the new US Secretary of State, lawmakers said after a final confirmation vote in the Senate.
On Wednesday, The US Senate in a final vote confirmed Tillerson as President Donald Trump’s secretary of state by a 56 to 43 vote, with Republicans backing the nominee and most Democrats opposing him.
“He believes in putting this country first, and I have no doubt that he will serve the United States with great integrity and care,” Senator John Cornyn in a speech on the Senate floor. “And it’s none too early for us to transition to somebody of his great qualifications and experience.”
Other senators also congratulated Tillerson on his new position.
“As our nation’s top diplomat, the Secretary of State will be in charge of leading US diplomatic efforts around the world,” US Senator Richard Burr said in a statement following Tillerson’s confirmation. “At this critical time, I am confident Rex Tillerson has the experience to rise to the challenge.”
Senator Joe Manchin said he looks forward to working with Tillerson in the best interest of all Americans.
“Rex Tillerson’s extensive career will bring a unique perspective to the State Department,” Manchin said in a statement on his vote to confirm Tillerson. “I look forward to working with him in a bipartisan manner in the best interest of all West Virginians and Americans.”
During a series of rigorous discussions, senators debated over Tillerson’s experience in foreign policy, his business dealings with Russia and China, and stances on the current situation in the Middle East.
In December, Trump announced that he had chosen Tillerson to lead the US Department of State. Following the nomination, the president praised the former Exxon Mobil chief for having vast experience in handling business dealings with different foreign governments.