Senate confirms executive nominees

The Senate confirmed four executive branch nominees Thursday by voice vote.

Republicans didn’t insist on cloture votes before confirming the nominations, as they have with most since Democrats unilaterally changed the Senate filibuster rules on most nominees using the “nuclear option” late last year.

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Kathryn Sullivan was confirmed to be undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.

Rhonda Schmidtlein was confirmed to be a member of the U.S. International Trade Commission.

R. Gil Kerlikowske was confirmed to be commissioner of Customs, Department of Homeland Security.

And Michael Hammer was confirmed to serve as U.S. ambassador to Chile.

The Senate spent most of the week voting on President Obama’s executive and judicial nominees. All but one was confirmed. Republicans blocked the nomination of Debo Adegbile to serve as assistant attorney general.