Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 1, 2015

Republicans Block Many Ambassador Nominations in ‘Nuclear Option’ Fallout (Updated)

Menendez sought consent to confirm 25 ambassadors, including ambassadors to Russia and Guatemala. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Menendez sought consent to confirm 25 ambassadors, including ambassadors to Russia and Guatemala. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:07 p.m. | The Senate may not be confirming nominees to posts in a slew of countries before departing for the August recess, but after some  procedural maneuvering, the U.S. will be getting a top diplomat in Russia.

Senators confirmed the nomination of John F. Tefft by voice vote as the chamber finished evening business after he faced objection to confirmation by unanimous consent earlier in the night.

The Senate’s nuclear fallout continued as the chamber worked into the night leading up until the break that will see no roll call votes until September 8. Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez faced a GOP objection to confirming a batch of 25 career foreign service officers to various ambassadorships, including President Barack Obama’s choice of Todd D. Robinson for the top diplomatic post in Guatemala, one of the key countries in the current crisis involving unaccompanied minors at the Southwest border.

Perhaps most ironically, the batch of nominees not confirmed includes Adam M. Scheinman, Obama’s pick to be Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation, foiled by a nuke of a different kind — the one that led to elimination of the supermajority needed to end filibusters of most nominees.

The news won’t sit well in the administration. Secretary of State John Kerry went public with pleas for confirmation of State Department officials.

Menedez also made separate requests to confirm U.S. ambassadors to Russia and South Korea. At that point, the nomination for the post in Russia didn’t move. The nominee for South Korea, Mark Lippert, is a political appointee, but Tefft is a career foreign service officer.

Sen. Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., objected to the various requests from the New Jersey Democrat, referring to last November’s move by Senate Democrats to effectively change the rules using the “nuclear option.”

“We used to pass ambassadors and all kinds of people en bloc like that, but we have this nuclear option now that the majority chose so it takes a little longer to do that whole process, and on that basis, I object,” Enzi said.

“The criteria for confirming nominees should not be determined by a sudden, just-breaking crisis with the urgent need to fill a vacant post,” Menendez said. “Confirmation by crisis is not a strategy, and it is not in the national security interests of the United States.”

“You know, I don’t know about nuclear options. I do know about national security,” Menendez said, adding that he had pulled out a list of only career nominees, rather than including political nominees.

Enzi expanded on his objections after Menendez made a second try at the Robinson nomination.

“The majority leader … hasn’t chosen to bring these up in the normal order,” Enzi said. “Instead, asking to bring them up en bloc. my college roommate was a career ambassador, and I helped him get assignments and brought a lot of people through en bloc at the same time. But that was before we did the nuclear option.”

To be sure, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., could file cloture to limit debate on any of these or the slew of other nominations pending at the arrival of recess. However, that move would require having senators remain in town in August or burn through limited time in September.

Comments (55)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. MrBeale

    July 31, 2014
    11:05 p.m.

    I keep thinking my opinion of Congressional Republicans can’t possibly sink any lower. They keep finding new ways to prove me wrong.

  2. ggm281

    July 31, 2014
    11:38 p.m.

    “The Senate may not be confirming nominees to posts in a slew of countries before departing for the August recess”

    I just read elsewhere that the Senate had already adjourned and left for recess.


    Aug. 1, 2014
    1:05 a.m.

    The Republican senate has been a disaster for our country and people. They have failed to agree on almost all proposals and bills that would have benefited woman, the poor, minorities, gay community, and the unemployed. While they worked feverously on behalf of big business and special interest groups, they failed the more than three million unemployed families without unemployment benefits since late last December. These millions of families have fallen into financial ruin and deep poverty over the past seven months. The republicans have proven not care about these groups, especially the three million of these unemployed families. While they vote for foreign aid and corporate welfare, these families are still suffering WITHOUT an extension bill that would help them climb out of the financial ruin that the republicans lack of action had caused them to fall into by not passing the unemployment retro extension bill..

    • Geoffrey Huff

      Aug. 2, 2014
      7:46 p.m.

      There is no GOP Senate, it’s controlled by leftist trash like Reid who won’t being bills to the floor and a leftist media that doesn’t report his obstruction. But by all means don’t let facts spoil your ignorance. And BTW, where exactly in The Constitution are all of those things? You are proof stupidity should be painful.

      • Tip

        Aug. 4, 2014
        10:21 a.m.

        People aren’t trash.

        It’s sad that you were taught that calling people “trash” is ok. Most likely, you were called “trash” early in your life and it hurt. Now, your inner-child needs to strike out.

        You’re not trash. You’re just a low information sort of voter.

        • PortageMain

          Aug. 6, 2014
          12:19 p.m.

          Spare us the pop psychology lesson. It was clear what he meant. Talking about low information voters, it was the original commenter on this thread who believes Republicans control the Senate that I’m concerned about

  4. prashant

    Aug. 4, 2014
    2:15 a.m.

    Confirmation of US Ambassadors to various nations are crucial in that they represent our interests. Blocking the nominations of these ambassadors just to spite the president means that they hurt us as a nation in sinking so low.

  5. Anonymous

    June 27, 2015
    6:57 a.m.

    After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

  6. Anonymous

    July 2, 2015
    11:19 a.m.

    My wife and i have been really thrilled Louis could conclude his analysis through your precious recommendations he discovered when using the web pages. It is now and again perplexing just to always be offering hints that many some other people could have been trying to sell. We really keep in mind we have the writer to appreciate for that. The entire explanations you have made, the simple website navigation, the friendships your site make it easier to foster – it’s got most unbelievable, and it is helping our son and us believe that this subject matter is amusing, which is extraordinarily vital. Thank you for the whole lot!

  7. Anonymous

    July 3, 2015
    1:56 p.m.

    Rattling wonderful information can be found on web site. “The greatest mistake is trying to be more agreeable than you can be.” by Walter Bagehot.

  8. Anonymous

    July 3, 2015
    4:26 p.m.

    I really like your writing style, fantastic info, thank you for putting up :D. “He wrapped himself in quotations- as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors.” by Rudyard Kipling.

  9. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    5:29 a.m.

    Some genuinely good blog posts on this website , regards for contribution.

  10. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    6:20 a.m.

    Good article and straight to the point. I don’t know if this is actually the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to employ some professional writers? Thanks in advance :)

  11. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    7:43 p.m.

    Hello. excellent job. I did not imagine this. This is a excellent story. Thanks!

  12. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    8:09 p.m.

    Good info. Lucky me I reach on your website by accident, I bookmarked it.

  13. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    9:29 p.m.

    you might have an awesome weblog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?

  14. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    11:19 p.m.

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for your provided information.

  15. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    5:08 a.m.

    I regard something really special in this internet site.

  16. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    6:25 a.m.

    Hello, you used to write great, but the last few posts have been kinda boringK I miss your super writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  17. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    4:49 a.m.

    Some truly interesting info , well written and broadly speaking user friendly.

  18. Google

    July 20, 2015
    2:41 a.m.

    Sites of interest we’ve a link to.

  19. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    1:31 a.m.

    I genuinely enjoy examining on this internet site, it has got great posts.

  20. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    4:44 a.m.

    You must participate in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will advocate this website!

  21. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    7:51 a.m.

    Hey, you used to write wonderful, but the last few posts have been kinda boringK I miss your super writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  22. crying

    July 21, 2015
    6:47 p.m.

    Major thankies for the article. Will read on…

  23. pdr training

    July 23, 2015
    9:24 a.m.

    Here are a few of the internet sites we recommend for our visitors

  24. pdr training

    July 23, 2015
    9:27 p.m.

    the time to study or go to the content or sites we’ve linked to beneath the

  25. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    4:55 a.m.

    You are my inhalation, I possess few blogs and occasionally run out from post :). “Truth springs from argument amongst friends.” by David Hume.

  26. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    7:40 a.m.

    I like the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great blog posts.

  27. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    10:13 a.m.

    Keep up the fantastic piece of work, I read few articles on this web site and I think that your site is rattling interesting and has got circles of wonderful info .

  28. shemale

    July 24, 2015
    3:56 p.m.

    the time to study or take a look at the content material or websites we’ve linked to below the

  29. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    7:20 p.m.

    I actually wanted to send a quick note so as to express gratitude to you for these magnificent strategies you are writing at this website. My incredibly long internet look up has finally been compensated with awesome strategies to exchange with my guests. I would admit that we readers are definitely endowed to dwell in a useful place with so many brilliant professionals with very helpful techniques. I feel extremely blessed to have seen your entire weblog and look forward to really more fun moments reading here. Thank you again for all the details.

  30. ESN

    July 24, 2015
    7:26 p.m.

    Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated information, nevertheless seriously worth taking a search, whoa did 1 learn about Mid East has got much more problerms too

  31. steps to make a guy like you

    July 24, 2015
    8:36 p.m.

    although internet websites we backlink to beneath are considerably not related to ours, we really feel they’re really worth a go as a result of, so have a look

  32. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    9:36 p.m.

    Great tremendous things here. I am very satisfied to peer your article. Thanks so much and i’m taking a look ahead to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  33. voip calling card

    July 25, 2015
    3:22 p.m.

    the time to study or visit the material or websites we have linked to below the

  34. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    5:33 p.m.

  35. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    6:05 p.m.

  36. Anonymous

    July 26, 2015
    12:02 a.m.

    Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice at the same time as you amend your website, how can i subscribe for a weblog site? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided shiny transparent concept

  37. Anonymous

    July 26, 2015
    9:50 a.m.

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. cheers

  38. Anonymous

    July 26, 2015
    8:56 p.m.

    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I in finding It really helpful & it helped me out much. I hope to offer one thing back and help others like you helped me.

  39. Anonymous

    July 26, 2015
    9:26 p.m.

    Actually when someone doesn’t be aware of after that its up to other users that they will help, so here it occurs.

  40. Seo

    July 26, 2015
    10:02 p.m.

    check below, are some totally unrelated sites to ours, however, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use

  41. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    4:26 a.m.

    Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  42. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    10:20 a.m.

    What i do not understood is if truth be told how you are not really a lot more smartly-appreciated than you might be now. You’re so intelligent. You realize thus considerably on the subject of this matter, produced me in my opinion imagine it from numerous various angles. Its like women and men are not involved unless it is one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. At all times take care of it up!

  43. Netflix Nederland

    July 29, 2015
    1:31 a.m.

    here are some hyperlinks to web-sites that we link to because we believe they may be really worth visiting

  44. google adsense earning tips from online

    July 29, 2015
    3:21 a.m.

    Here is a good Blog You might Discover Exciting that we Encourage You

  45. מנעולן בנס ציונה

    July 30, 2015
    9:12 a.m.

    The details mentioned within the write-up are several of the most beneficial readily available

  46. Schluesseldienst Frankfurt

    July 30, 2015
    1:50 p.m.

    below you will discover the link to some web-sites that we feel you ought to visit

  47. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    2:05 p.m.

    I like the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great content.

  48. Intuitive Document Solution

    July 30, 2015
    6:06 p.m.

    just beneath, are various entirely not associated web pages to ours, however, they’re certainly really worth going over

  49. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    6:17 p.m.

    Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    8:27 a.m.

    Fantastic website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get feed-back from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Appreciate it!

  51. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    2:51 p.m.

    I enjoy the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great posts.

  52. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    3:46 p.m.

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such fantastic information being shared freely out there.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...