UPDATE:  The Republican-led Senate has confirmed Rex Tillerson as President Donald Trump's secretary of state.

Senators voted 56-43 largely along party lines to approve Tillerson's nomination to be the nation's chief diplomat.

Most Senate Democrats opposed Tillerson's nomination, angering Republicans who considered the former Exxon Mobil CEO to be highly qualified for the post.

Sen. Ben Cardin, the Foreign Relations Committee's top Democrat, says he feared Tillerson would be a "yes man" and would not be able to prevent Trump from pursuing a misguided foreign policy that leads the country "on a march of folly."

But Republicans had the numbers to push Tillerson's nomination through. They got help from several Democrats who crossed party lines.

Tillerson's ties to Russia and his stand on sanctioning Moscow have been a point of contention.


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's nomination of Rex Tillerson for secretary of state is headed toward Senate confirmation after several Democrats crossed party lines to back the former Exxon Mobil CEO.

The vote, scheduled for today, comes as tension continues to build among congressional Republicans and Democrats over Trump's executive order on immigrants and refugees.

Several other votes on Trump nominees also are planned in Senate committees.

Republicans say they will try anew to push nominees for health secretary and treasury secretary through the Senate Finance Committee.

Democrats said both men had lied to Congress about their financial background and blocked earlier votes. Both men said they'd done nothing wrong.

A vote also is planned in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Trump's choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.


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