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Pence ends filibuster on Brownback nomination

Pence ends filibuster on Brownback nomination
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence broke a tie Wednesday over Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's (R) ambassador nomination, allowing Republicans to overcome a Democratic filibuster. 

Pence was called in to cast the tie-breaking vote after a move to end debate on Brownback's nomination stalled at 49-49. 

GOP Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (Tenn.), who is currently in Davos, and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Energy: Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West | White House leads opposition to raising gas tax | Biden taps ex-New Mexico lawmaker for USDA post Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West Five takeaways from the Biden-Putin summit MORE (Ariz.), who has been diagnosed with brain cancer, missed Wednesday's procedural vote, forcing Republicans to rely on the vice president. 

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With Brownback overcoming the procedural hurdle, a final vote on his nomination is expected to happen this week.

Trump nominated Brownback last year to serve as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. 

Brownback, a devout Catholic, would be the fifth person to run the State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom — an office first created by legislation Brownback sponsored when he was a member of the Senate back in 1998.

The Wednesday vote is Pence's seventh tie-breaking vote as vice president.