The Senate voted to confirm three of President Obama’s State Department nominees Tuesday evening.
Richard Stengel was confirmed to be Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy on a 90-8 vote.
And Charles Hammerman Rivkin was confirmed to be an Assistant Secretary of State on Economic and Business Affairs on a 92-6 vote.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob MenendezRobert MenendezThe right person for State Department is Rudy Giuliani Warren, Menendez question shakeup at Wells Fargo Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal MORE (D-N.J.) said all three were “highly qualified nominees” but called for the Senate to move more quickly on other pending nominations.
The Senate also considered and confirmed by voice-vote the nomination of Sloan Gibson to be Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Votes on the nominees came while the Senate waited for the House to pass a clean debt ceiling increase, which would allow the government to borrow money until March 2015 — well after the November midterm elections.
The House passed that extension in a 221-201 vote. If the Senate takes up the measure before leaving for a weeklong recess Friday, lawmakers will easily meet the Feb. 27 deadline from the Treasury Department to avoid default.
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidStaff shakeup begins at Dem campaign committee The Hill's 12:30 Report Emanuel flips the bird when asked about 2020 MORE (D-Nev.) said the Senate would wait to hold anymore votes until Wednesday. He said he hoped to reach an agreement with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellPresident Obama should curb mass incarceration with clemency Cruz, DeSantis to introduce constitutional amendment on term limits Democrats back down from shutdown threat MORE (R-Ky.) to hold a series of votes at 11:30 a.m. so lawmakers could avoid a snow storm expected to hit Washington, D.C., Wednesday night.
— This article was updated at 6:45 p.m.