Sen. Chris Coons released a statement on the April 23 Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote.

“Today, I voted against Mike Pompeo’s nomination in the Foreign Relations Committee, as did all Democrats on the committee, and I will vote against him again on the floor later this week. Given that Sen. Paul changed his vote from opposing to supporting Pompeo late this afternoon, there was clearly an 11-10 majority on committee to report the Pompeo nomination favorably to the floor,” said Coons.

“My good friend Sen. Isakson, of Georgia, had earlier today delivered the eulogy at his best friend’s funeral in Georgia and wasn’t present, but voted by proxy. Due to a procedural rule, advancing Pompeo’s nomination to the floor required a majority of those present. After lengthy debate, it became clear senator Isakson and the entire committee would be compelled to reconvene after 11 p.m. tonight to take that vote. In order to avoid that needless result, and at the request of Sen. Isakson, I changed my vote to present, which changed the hour of the final vote but not the outcome,” said Coons.

“This was not an act of courage or an abandonment of principles, it was simply a courtesy to a friend who would do the same for me. I think we need more of that in the Senate, and I think we need more of that in this country,” said Coons.