The Senate reached their deal on the anti-trafficking bill, and now the Loretta Lynch vote for Attorney General will happen. However, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has a backlog that makes it look like they meet only twice a year.
But now we’re hearing there’s growing concern in Foggy Bottom that the backlog of ambassadorial nominees — pretty much wiped out by the Democratic-controlled Senate at the end of last year, is starting to build up once more.
The difference now is that the inaction is not on the Senate floor but in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And most of those pending for embassy postings (17 of the 21 pending in committee) are career diplomats, not political appointees.
21 pending in committee. I’ll be honest and say I’m not going to look up the historical threshold of nominees pending in committee, but I’m confident in saying that 21 is too many. A lot of these nominations have come within the last couple weeks, but when work cranks up you have to crank up.
The committee held hearings on three career diplomats, including two re-nominees from last year. All three are hoping to represent the United States in some of the most dicey, impoverished and violence-plagued places on earth — Somalia, Mali and South Sudan.
We should probably get some ambassadors over there.