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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 CorkerGOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics Former GOP senator: Republicans cannot let Trump's 'reckless' post-election claims stand Cornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' MORE (Tenn.), who is currently in Davos, and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden eyeing Cindy McCain for UK ambassador position: report The Memo: GOP mulls its future after Trump Juan Williams: Obama's dire warnings about right-wing media 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.