Senate confirms nominee for ambassador to El Salvador

Aponte was confirmed by voice vote shortly after the chamber ended debate on her nomination.

The vote was 62 to 37.

In December, the chamber voted down a cloture motion on Aponte's nomination, 49 to 37.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidNevada's Heck won't say who he's backing for president GOP groups ride to rescue in 3 key Senate races Obama seeks down-ballot gains after being midterm loser MORE (D-Nev.) said he was "really happy" that the Senate ended debate on Aponte's nomination.

"She's an excellent ambassador," Reid said. "It is high time the United States has a confirmed ambassador to El Salvador, our ally."

Aponte had previously been serving as a recess appointment to El Salvador since 2010. 

Sen. Robert MenendezRobert MenendezWarren, Menendez question shakeup at Wells Fargo Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal Dem senator: Louisiana Republican 'found Jesus' on flood funding MORE (D-N.J.), speaking before the vote, said there had been a number of unnecessary hearings on Aponte's confirmation.

"In addition to last year's vote, the Foreign Relations Committee has held a series of meetings to confirm her nomination and, frankly, I have not seen any nominee forced to go through such an arduous and drawn-out confirmation process as Ms. Aponte," Menendez said.

The senator from New Jersey added that Aponte's qualifications should have resulted in a quick confirmation.

"As someone who personally reviewed her record, as someone who personally looked at the files, I believe there is nothing to prevent Ambassador Aponte to be confirmed by the Senate," Menendez added.

Aponte was nominated by President Obama in February 2011. 

—This story was updated at 1:53 p.m.