From Jonathan Bernstein:
That’s normally how the process works: Senators support executive branch nominees, allowing presidents to have the people they want, but use the process to influence the policies that executive branch departments and agencies will carry out.
If, however, Trump is moving ahead with easing sanctions anyway, then whatever assurances Tillerson supplied were either false, or, more likely, irrelevant: It’s the White House, not State, making policy.
Fortunately for McCain and friends, Tillerson’s confirmation vote was delayed and is now scheduled for Monday at 5 o’clock. McCain has plenty of time to lay down the law to the new president: No sanctions? No secretary of State.