Senate committee approves Tillerson for secretary of state

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WASHINGTON -- Former ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson won the backing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Monday to be secretary of state when it voted to send his nomination to the full Senate with a recommendation of approval.

The vote was 11-10.

Sen. Marco Rubio was a long hold-out and potential "no" vote after he raised concerns about Tillerson's views toward the Russians.

But the Florida Republican announced earlier Monday that would support the nomination.

If Rubio had voted no, it could have stalled Tillerson, although GOP leaders planned to move him to the floor regardless.

A final confirmation vote on the Senate floor is expected next week, according to leadership aides from each party.