Tags: Trump Administration | corker | mcconnell | ambassador | confirm

Corker: McConnell Not Making Trump Ambassadors a Priority

Corker: McConnell Not Making Trump Ambassadors a Priority
Sen. Bob Corker (Leah Millis/Reuters)

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Thursday, 19 April 2018 06:09 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., suggested many of President Donald Trump's key ambassadorial appointments are not getting confirmed by the Senate because Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has little interest in making them a priority.

"Mitch McConnell is going to take up judges—people who are going to be there for a lifetime — over ambassadors who will be there for a short time," Corker told a meeting of journalists at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

"The floor time is going to be an issue," he said, referring to a 30 hour cloture rule that limits the number of nominees that must go before a full Senate vote if a hold is placed on them by a single U.S. senator.

Democrats have consistently put holds on most Trump nominees, leading to more than 150 Trump appointees awaiting confirmation. Under current Senate rules and scheduling, it could more than a decade to confirm Trump's nominees. Despite their abuse of the process, McConnell has done little to challenge the Democrat's stalling action.

Corker, who is retiring this year, made clear his opinion that the Trump administration is in part responsible for the vacant ambassadorships.

"It would be good for us to have an ambassador in Germany [and] it would be good to have ambassadors in a number of places," said Corker, "Let's face it: the administration has been slow in rolling those out. [Former] Secretary [of State Rex] Tillerson and the White House had huge disagreements over the type of people.

"Over a period of time, Rex almost gave up and started working on other issues."

Many key allies have no U.S. ambassador. For example Ric Grenell, the president's nominee for Germany, has yet to take his seat in Berlin.

Corker said Grenell "had issues over comments he made and was doing some tweeting early on."

But he noted that Grenell, the former U.N. spokesman under President George W. Bush, "passed out of committee, but languished on the floor. I guess we're probably ready to take action."

But other nominees have yet to move out of Corker's committee for a full vote.

Asked about Robin Bernstein, the nominee for ambassador to the Dominican Republic, has had a Senate hearing but no vote. Bernstein is an insurance executive and friend of Trump.

"I have no idea on the [Dominican Republic] thing," Corker said of Bernstein's nomination, "which speaks to the impact it's had."

Corker did voice confidence in Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo changing the ambassador situation.

"One of the things Pompeo mentioned [in his confirmation testimony] is that he does very quickly want to have people in place," he said.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., suggested many of President Donald Trump's key ambassadorial appointments are not getting confirmed by the Senate because Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has little interest in making them a priority.
corker, mcconnell, ambassador, confirm
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2018-09-19
Thursday, 19 April 2018 06:09 AM
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