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Potential opposition from a handful of Republicans threatens to put Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson on a very small list of Cabinet appointees the Senate has rejected over the past two centuries.

Since 1834, just nine nominees have been stopped by the Senate from joining a presidential candidate, and the most recent occurred nearly three decades ago.

Only seven current Senate lawmakers were in office the last time the chamber thwarted a presidential cabinet appointee. On March 9, 1989, the Senate voted 47-53 to reject John Tower, who was President George H.W. Bush’s pick for Defense Secretary.

It took just one Republican joining every Democrats to block Tower, and they did so for personal and professional reasons.

“FBI summaries of hundreds of interviews indicated that Tower had a record of alcohol abuse that would make him an unreliable link between the president and the armed forces, they contended,” CQ reported at the time.

Democrats also pointed to Tower’s consulting contracts with weapons builders as a reason to reject him to head what was at the time a scandal-ridden Pentagon.

Tillerson could face questions over his own professional contacts. At least four Senate Republicans have said they have doubts about Tillerson because of his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who awarded Tillerson with the nation’s highest honor, the Order of Friendship.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., called Tillerson’s ties to Putin, “a matter of concern.”

With a mere two-seat majority, Senate Republicans could afford to lose the support of only two GOP lawmakers, but not three, since Democrats are likely to vote in lockstep against him. Vice President Mike Pence would be able to break a tie vote in the event of a 50-50 tie.

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If his prospects appeared dismal, Trump could withdraw Tillerson, which has happened just seven times in U.S. history, most recently in 2009, when President Obama was forced to pull Sen. Tom Daschle, who he had nominated for Health and Human Services Secretary, because of unpaid taxes.

The rarity of a cabinet rejection, however, is one of the reasons everyone in the GOP may eventually support Tillerson, some Republican lawmakers suggested, particularly since Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, are backing his nomination.

“I think ultimately he’ll be confirmed,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told Fox News on Wednesday.

If not, Tillerson will join a less desirable Washington short list of those who got voted down, provided here courtesy of the the office of the U.S. Senate Historical Office:

Name: Roger B. Taney

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Nominated by: Andrew Jackson

Nomination Position: Treasury

Date Nominated: June 23, 1834

Date Rejected: June 24, 1834

Vote: 18-28

Name: Caleb Cushing

Nominated by: John Tyler

Nomination Position: Treasury

Date Nominated: March 2, 1843

Date Rejected: March 3, 1843

Vote: 19-27

Name: David Henshaw

Nominated by: John Tyler

Nomination Position: Navy

Date Nominated: December 6, 1843

Date Rejected: January 15, 1844

Vote: 8-34

Name: James M. Porter

Nominated by: John Tyler

Nomination Position: War

Date Nominated: December 6, 1843

Date Rejected: January 30, 1844

Vote: 3-38

Name: James S. Green

Nominated by: John Tyler

Nomination Position: Treasury

Date Nominated: June 14, 1844

Date Rejected: June 15, 1844

Vote: not recorded

Name: Henry Stanbery

Nominated by: Andrew Johnson

Nomination Position: Justice

Date Nominated: May 27, 1868

Date Rejected: June 2, 1868

Vote: 11-29

Name: Charles B. Warren

Nominated by: Calvin Coolidge

Nomination Position: Justice

Date Nominated: January 10, 1925; renominated March 5, 1925

Date Rejected: March 10, 1925

Vote: 39-41

Name: Lewis L. Strauss

Nominated by: Dwight Eisenhower

Nomination Position: Commerce

Date Nominated: January 17, 1959

Date Rejected: June 18, 1959

Vote: 46-49

Name: John G. Tower

Nominated by: George Bush

Nomination Position: Defense

Date Nominated: January 20, 1989

Date Rejected: March 9, 1989

Vote: 47-53

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