Senate confirms nominee to aviation group after downed jetliner

The Senate confirmed Michael Anderson Lawson to be U.S. Representative on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization nearly a week after a jetliner was downed in eastern Ukraine.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Lawson could have been confirmed last week if it weren’t for Republican “spite.”

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“It’s such a shame that we have had to go through this stalling on Michael Anderson Lawson,” Reid said ahead of the vote on Monday. “It’s untoward that this is happening and they’re holding up these nominations out of spite — this is a perfect example.”

Reid said in his new position Lawson would serve a U.N. organization that could help investigate the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have been accused of shooting down the jetliner that was carrying nearly 300 people.

Through a voice-vote the Senate also confirmed Eunice Reddick to be U.S. ambassador to Niger.

Reid has criticized Republicans for delaying votes on more than 20 pending nominations to U.S. ambassadorships around the world.

“Republicans are stalling executive nominees vital to our national security to get back at Democrats? How does that work?” Reid said last week. “Stalling these nominees is jeopardizing America’s interests abroad.”

The Senate also voted 94-0 to confirm Julie Carnes to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit Court.