Rubio's support gets President Obama's envoy to El Salvador over the top

The Senate on Thursday approved President Obama's envoy to El Salvador despite Republican efforts to derail Mari Carmen Aponte's nomination over her public support for gay rights and allegations that she was romantically involved with a Cuban spy two decades ago.

Obama gave Aponte a recess appointment in 2010, but it ran out at the end of last year after Republicans filibustered her nomination. This time, Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioRepublicans play clean up on Trump's foreign policy Top Dem: GOP is terrified of Trump McConnell on Trump: 'I'm not a fan of the daily tweets' MORE (R-Fla.), under pressure to approve the Puerto Rican nominee, garnered enough support to get cloture on Aponte's nomination, 62-37.

ADVERTISEMENT
“Frankly, I have not seen any nominee forced to go through such an arduous and drawn-out confirmation process as Ms. Aponte," said Sen. Robert MenendezRobert MenendezSteve Mnuchin, foreclosure king, now runs your US Treasury Senate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order Senators to Trump: We support additional Iran sanctions MORE (D-N.J.). "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."

Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said Rubio did not have any qualms about Aponte personally but held her up until the administration made changes to some of its policies in Latin America.

“When this issue came up last year, Sen. Rubio was opposing several Western Hemisphere nominations because of concerns with the administration’s policies in the hemisphere, especially in Nicaragua,” Conant told The Hill earlier this week. “We worked behind the scenes with the Administration and reached an agreement on Nicaragua, so the senator agreed to vote for cloture on Aponte and find enough Republican votes for her to pass.”

Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteNH governor 'not aware’ of major voter fraud Former NH AG: 'Allegations of voter fraud in NH are baseless' Ex-NH GOP chair calls Trump's voter fraud bluff with ,000 bet MORE (R-N.H.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsPruitt sworn in as EPA chief Comey meets Intel senators amid uproar over Trump-Russia ties EPA breaks Twitter silence to congratulate new head MORE (R-Maine), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSenators eye new sanctions against Iran Republicans play clean up on Trump's foreign policy Graham: Ryan tax plan won’t get 10 votes in the Senate MORE (R-S.C.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiPublic lands dispute costs Utah a major trade show Oprah's network provides Senate with tape of abuse allegations by Puzder's ex-wife: report More than 100 groups back Puzder for Labor secretary MORE (R-Alaska) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) joined Rubio in siding with the Democrats.