Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced Sunday that they have decided to vote in favor of President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.
The announcement essentially clinches Tillerson's spot as the next secretary of state.
In the days following Trump's announcement that Tillerson was his choice for the job, McCain, Graham, along with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), all voiced their concerns with Tillerson, especially his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
There was concern that if the trio of Republican senators opposed Tillerson's nomination, they could likely garner the support of a few others, effectively blocking Tillerson's nomination.
However, in a joint statement released Sunday, McCain and Graham said that while they still have concerns about Tillerson, they believe he will be "an effective advocate for U.S. interests" and they will therefore vote in favor of his confirmation.
The full statement read:
After careful consideration, and much discussion with Mr. Tillerson, we have decided to support his nomination to be Secretary of State. Though we still have concerns about his past dealings with the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin, we believe that Mr. Tillerson can be an effective advocate for U.S. interests.
"Now more than ever, with America's friends growing more discouraged and our enemies growing more emboldened, we need a Secretary of State who recognizes that our nation cannot succeed in the world by itself. We must strengthen our alliances and partnerships across the globe, and marshal them to defend our shared vision of world order. It is the American people more than anyone else who have benefited from this long tradition of U.S. global leadership. The views that Mr. Tillerson has expressed, both privately and publicly during the confirmation process, give us confidence that he will be a champion for a strong and engaged role for America in the world."
Rubio hasn't yet made a decision one way or the other, but said last week that Tillerson will have to address more of his concerns before he votes in favor of his confirmation.
However, some pressure may have just been taken off Rubio. With Graham and McCain vowing publicly to vote for Tillerson, if Rubio ultimately decides not to support him, then it likely won't tank Tillerson's confirmation.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to vote on Tillerson's nomination on Monday.