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 MenendezCorruption trial could roil NJ Senate race Steve Mnuchin, foreclosure king, now runs your US Treasury Senate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order 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 ReidThis obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all Sharron Angle to challenge GOP rep in Nevada Fox's Watters asks Trump whom he would fire: Baldwin, Schumer or Zucker 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 McConnellThe Memo: Winners and losers from the battle over health care GOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support 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.