Rubio remotely blocks Mexico ambassador nominee while campaigning
© Getty Images

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate weighs new Russia response amid Trump backlash Senate adds members to pro-NATO group McConnell reassures Europe on Russia MORE (R-Fla.) on Thursday remotely blocked the Senate from confirming President Obama's ambassador to Mexico, even though he is campaigning in South Carolina.

Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallEPA deputy says he's not interested in Pruitt’s job Latina Leaders to Watch 2018 Overnight Energy: Spending bill targets Pruitt | Ryan not paying 'close attention' to Pruitt controversies | Yellowstone park chief learned of dismissal through press release MORE (D-N.M.) tried to get unanimous consent to confirm Roberta Jacobson, who was nominated in June. Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (R-Utah) objected, noting that he was doing so on behalf of Rubio, a GOP presidential candidate.

ADVERTISEMENT
Jacobson, who is currently the State Department's assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs, has drawn flack from Republicans and some Democrats over her role in leading the Obama administration's negotiations with Cuba to restore relations. 
 
Rubio has repeatedly criticized the president's handling of the island country, suggesting Obama is relaxing decades-old travel and trade rules without requiring political or human rights reforms in return. 
 
He also wrote a letter to Jacobson last month about reports that a Hellfire missile was sent to Cuba after being used during a European training exercise. 
 
"The fact that the administration, including you, have apparently tried to withhold this information from the congressional debate and public discussion over U.S.-Cuba policy is disgraceful," he said at the time. 
 
A State Department official said Congress was briefed on the issue in February 2015.
 
Udall, separately, defended Jacobson, calling her a "highly qualified career nominee." 
 
"She's ready to serve. She has solid support on both sides of the aisle," he said.
 
Rubio isn't the only 2016 GOP presidential candidate that has recently blocked Obama's nominees. Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Rourke calls for Trump's impeachment over Putin summit Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems The Memo: Trump leaves chaos in his wake in UK MORE (R-Texas) blocked State Department nominees three times since last week over the Iran nuclear deal.