Senate confirms Caldwell as assistant AG

The Senate confirmed Leslie Caldwell to be an assistant U.S. attorney general on a voice-vote Thursday.

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Caldwell will serve under U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at the Department of Justice.

Helen La Lime was also confirmed by voice-vote to be U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Angola. 

Their confirmations came after the Senate ended debate on three U.S. district judges for Arizona.

The Senate voted 58-35 to end debate on Rosemary Marquez, 59-35 to end debate on Douglas Rayas and 61-35 to end debate on James Soto.

Cloture was never in doubt since Democrats used the “nuclear option,” unilaterally changing the Senate filibuster rules last year. Now only a simple majority is needed to advance most nominations instead of the previously needed 60 votes.

Confirmation votes on the three Arizona judges are expected later Thursday.