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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The White House and (almost all) Senate Republicans hope to confirm Mike Pompeo this week as Trump's new Secretary of State. But, according to multiple sources involved in the vote counting, Pompeo's fate is still not entirely certain with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee set to consider his nomination on Monday afternoon.

What we're hearing: Rand Paul remains a hard no, though White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short told me he thinks Paul's vote on Pompeo is still gettable, and refuses to give up trying. Short told me: "I still think it's hard for Rand Paul to explain to Kentucky voters how he voted 'yes' for John Kerry for Secretary of State and 'no' for Mike Pompeo."

  • Paul's deputy chief of staff Sergio Gor emailed me in response to Short's comment: "Senator Rand Paul remains a strong supporter of President Donald Trump's America First agenda. From cutting taxes to limiting our foreign interventions, there is a lot they both agree on. They remain friends and speak regularly."
  • Senate Republican leaders and the White House are still unsure whether Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) will vote for Pompeo.
  • If Paul and Flake vote no, they'll need two red state Democrats to vote yes. They've already got Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Republicans involved tell me they're optimistic about getting Joe Manchin (D-WV), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN).

Bottom line: The Pompeo confirmation process has been revealing — and has shown the White House how difficult it will be for Trump to get anybody confirmed should he fire any more cabinet secretaries. It was only a little over a year ago that the Senate voted 66-32 to confirm Pompeo as CIA chief; and now his vote is down to the wire.

Go deeper

In photos: Deadly Cyclone Tauktae leaves trail of destruction across India

A police officer helps a public transport driver cross a flooded street due to heavy rain caused by Tropical Cyclone Tauktae in Mumbai, India, on May 17. Photo: Ashish Vaishnav/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tropical Cyclone Tauktae killed at least 16 people in India after making landfall in Gujarat Monday, packing 100mph winds, and sweeping across Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, per Reuters.

The big picture: The storm unleashed heavy rains and winds as authorities continued to grapple with surging infection rates and deaths from COVID-19. Over 200,000 people were evacuated from Gujarat, and ports, airports and vaccination centers shut in the state and Mumbai, Reuters reports. Tauktae weakened from a Category 3 storm into a "severe cyclonic storm" Tuesday morning local time.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Yellen wants business to help foot infrastructure bill

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is heading into the belly of the beast Tuesday and asking the business community to support President Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan during a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Why it matters: By trying to persuade a skeptical and targeted audience, Yellen is signaling the president’s commitment to raising corporate taxes to pay for his plan. Republican senators, critical to a potential bipartisan deal, oppose any corporate tax increase.

4 hours ago - World

Schumer's Israel vise

Sen. Chuck Schumer addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March 2014. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's longtime support for Israel puts him on a collision course with the progressive wing of his party as the conflict between Israel and Hamas worsens.

Why it matters: This is the toughest political position the New York Democrat has been in since becoming majority leader. The fighting in the Middle East is dividing his party — and creating a clear rift among its different wings.