Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezEnding the Cyprus arms embargo will increase tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean We can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison MORE (D-N.J.) said Republican obstruction of ambassador nominations is “crippling” the U.S. global agenda.

“Republicans have left key diplomatic posts unfilled for months,” Menendez said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “It’s unnecessary, irresponsible and completely unacceptable. … This is about the national interests and security of the United States.”

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Menendez said there are 42 nominees waiting for Senate floor votes that his committee has already approved for ambassadorships in key countries around the world.

Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Details on Senate's 0B defense bill | Bill rejects Trump plan to skirt budget caps | Backfills money for border wall | Defense chief says more troops could head to Mideast Dem senator plans amendment to restrict military action against Iran Overnight Defense: Iran worries dominate foreign policy talk | Pentagon reportedly to send WH plans for 10K troops in Mideast | Democrats warn Trump may push through Saudi arms sale | Lawmakers blast new Pentagon policy on sharing info MORE (D-Va.) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinHouse votes to boost retirement savings On The Money: GOP angst grows over Trump's trade war | Trump promises help for 'Patriot Farmers' | Markets rebound | CBO founding director Alice Rivlin dies | Senate to vote on disaster aid bill next week Senators offer bipartisan retirement savings bill MORE (D-Md.) joined Menendez in expressing outrage at Republican obstruction.

“It’s very hard for this senator to understand why we would hold up having a confirmed ambassador in any country in the world,” Cardin said. “This is hurting our country.”

Senate Republicans have been forcing Democrats to go through procedural hurdles in order to vote on President Obama’s nominations. Last year, Senate Democrats used the “nuclear option” to unilaterally change filibuster rules to make it hard for Republicans to block nominees. Now a simple majority can end debate on most nominations — previously 60 votes were needed.