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Graham backs Susan Rice replacement

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamEx-Im Bank fails to get quorum reprieve in stopgap spending bill Overnight Defense: Funding bill would ease Trump Defense pick's confirmation | Obama delivers final security speech Congress wants hearing on Pentagon wasteful spending charges MORE (R-S.C.) on Friday joined Sen. John McCainJohn McCainRepublicans tie Trump's Defense pick to funding fight Lawmakers haggle over funding bill as shutdown nears Markos Moulitsas: Kill the filibuster MORE (R-Ariz.) in urging Republicans  to quickly approve Susan Rice's replacement at the United Nations.

President Obama on Wednesday nominated Rice to be his National Security Adviser and Samantha PowerSamantha PowerTrump hires put premium on TV prowess US abstains from UN resolution on Cuba embargo for first time Former Portuguese leader, refugee chief primed to be new UN head MORE to replace her as U.S. ambassador to the UN. The NSA spot does not require confirmation, but the Senate could hold up Power in retaliation for Obama's promotion of Rice, the public face of the administration's discredited talking points on the Benghazi terrorist attack.

“Samantha Power is a solid choice to serve as United States Ambassador to the United Nations,” Graham said in a statement. “She has the background, intellect, and toughness to fill this important diplomatic post at a time of great conflict and rising danger throughout the world.”

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McCain made similar remarks on Wednesday.

“I believe she is well-qualified for this important position,” he said, “and hope the Senate will move forward on her nomination as soon as possible.”

Power, a former journalist and human-rights advocate, previously served in the administration as the head of the National Security Council’s office of multilateral affairs and human rights. She may come under criticism for past critical statements about U.S. foreign policy and Israel, something Graham sought to head off in his statement.

“As United Nations Ambassador, she will aggressively represent the United States interests in an increasingly hostile body,” he said. “She will also be a strong supporter of our close friend and ally Israel.

“I hope the Senate will expeditiously consider her nomination.”

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