Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob MenendezRobert MenendezTaiwan deserves to participate in United Nations The way forward on the Iran nuclear deal under President Trump Corruption trial could roil NJ Senate race MORE (D-N.J.) said Republican obstruction of ambassador nominations is “crippling” the U.S. global agenda.
“Republicans have left key diplomatic posts unfilled for months,” Menendez said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “It’s unnecessary, irresponsible and completely unacceptable. … This is about the national interests and security of the United States.”
Sens. Tim KaineTim KaineDemocrats thought they could produce a political earthquake in Kansas Poll: Dems hold double-digit leads in Virginia governor race Sen. King: Trump needs Congress to sign off on new military action MORE (D-Va.) and Ben CardinBen CardinLawmakers talk climate for Earth Day, Science March Live coverage: March for Science rally is underway Dems outraged over Spicer's Holocaust remarks MORE (D-Md.) joined Menendez in expressing outrage at Republican obstruction.
“It’s very hard for this senator to understand why we would hold up having a confirmed ambassador in any country in the world,” Cardin said. “This is hurting our country.”
Senate Republicans have been forcing Democrats to go through procedural hurdles in order to vote on President Obama’s nominations. Last year, Senate Democrats used the “nuclear option” to unilaterally change filibuster rules to make it hard for Republicans to block nominees. Now a simple majority can end debate on most nominations — previously 60 votes were needed.