Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezPoll: Menendez has 17-point lead over GOP challenger Russian attacks on America require bipartisan response from Congress Justice Dept intends to re-try Menendez in corruption case 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.”

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Menendez said there are 42 nominees waiting for Senate floor votes that his committee has already approved for ambassadorships in key countries around the world.

Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDems give muted praise to Pompeo-Kim meeting Mattis wanted approval from Congress before Syria strikes but was overruled: report Overnight Defense: Lawmakers worry over Syria strategy | Trump's base critical of strikes | Flake undecided on Pompeo | Coast Guard plans to keep allowing transgender members | GOP chair wants to cut B from Pentagon agencies MORE (D-Va.) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDems give muted praise to Pompeo-Kim meeting Key Dem to oppose Pompeo nomination Congress can act to prevent genocide and atrocities 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.