All Over But the Props … er Congressional Record

The final vote count on the Christopher Hill nomination was 73 for YEAs and 23 for NAYs, with three senators not voting. Senators Brownback, McCain, Graham, Kyl were among those who voted Nays. 17 other GOP senators joined 56 Democrats to confirm Ambassador Hill. Senators Kennedy, Roberts and Rockefeller, did not vote.

Just for the record, the debate on Ambassador Hill’s nomination in the Senate yesterday ate 29 pages of the Congressional Record. Imagine how many more pages would have been added if the senators went on for 30 more hours of debate as was originally agreed.

The generals and former ambassadors were invoked repeatedly by the senators. Generals Petreus and Odierno and the former ambassadors to Iraq where cited here by Senator Kerry. Senator Whitehouse, a former FS brat (father and grandfather were FS officers) also did the same here.

Another General’s name was also invoked, perhaps not surprisingly by those who opposed the nomination. Senator Brownback asked the Senate floor: “Why didn’t you nominate somebody such as Retired General Zinni, or why did you pick him and then pull him back?” Senator McCain who was not happy with all the ambassadors sent to Iraq so far, also managed to bring up General Zinni’s name saying: “We paid an enormous price for the gains we see in that country today. And I must say, in all candor, we have seen another Ambassador to Iraq who went there without experience, and things did not turn out so well. There are qualified individuals who are serving this Nation in and out of the Foreign Service. It well known that Marine General Zinni was offered the job, at least by some members of the administration, and then somehow that offer disappeared.”

Senator Kyl in his “anyone but Chris Hill” argument says: “While I don’t expect a carbon copy of Ambassador Crocker, I do assert again that surely the State Department has to have at least one distinguished diplomat with relevant experience in the Middle East. If it doesn’t–if its bench for Iraq is one diplomat deep–we need to find out what is going on over at the State Department.”

It is clear that the majority were able to round up more support for this nomination than the minority party; there certainly were more Senators who took to the floor in support of this nomination than those who opposed it. But Senator Kerry was the most steadfast supporter and returned every ball served by the senator from Kansas. At one point Senator Kerry called out Senator Brownback on one of his props, er exhibits of the starving children of North Korea.

screencapture from March 2009 video showing the same exhibit


Senator Kerry:

“But to show a picture of starving North Korean children in the debate on Ambassador Hill’s qualifications and to imply somehow that he is indifferent to their plight does a good public servant an enormous disservice–particularly one whose record is what I have described, who time and again has fought for the implementation of the Human Rights Act and who has taken personal risks on occasion to enforce human rights. The date of the photograph that was there was not in fact declared, but I believe it was during the great Republic of North Korea’s famine in 1996 and 1997. If that is true, that is 10 years before Ambassador Chris Hill began his duties as the lead envoy in the six-party talks. So, again, to create some sense of linkage or nexus here is inappropriate.”

And Senator Dodd on the conduct of diplomacy:

“Its not just about Chris Hill but also about how we conduct diplomacy and about a professional, an individual who has served in administrations, regardless of politics or party, but as a professional. It is extremely important, in my view, that we have a cadre of professional people in our diplomatic corps who can serve both Democratic and Republican administrations with dignity, with professionalism, with brilliance in this case, and that we recognize them. That will necessitate from time to time that there will be a change in policies, but having individuals who are able to accommodate those changes and serve the interests of our country in a highly professional capacity is something to be celebrated, in my view, and something we need more of, not less. My support for Chris Hill’s nomination is not to suggest that I necessarily agreed with every decision he made when he served at the discretion of Condoleezza Rice and President Bush but because he did so professionally and with great capacity. That willingness is something I believe we need to celebrate, as I said a moment ago, more often.”

The senate rigodon is over, but it ain’t over. There’s a lesson here for career diplomats but that’s for another post.

EXECUTIVE SESSION — (Senate – April 21, 2009)

[Page: S4471] GPO’s PDF
Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I know we are here to discuss the nomination of…
[Page: S4472] GPO’s PDF
[Page: S4473] GPO’s PDF
Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I rise today to join the distinguished …
[Page: S4474] GPO’s PDF
[Page: S4475] GPO’s PDF
Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I am very grateful to the Senator from Rhode Island…
Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I take this time to urge my colleagues to confirm…
Mr. KAUFMAN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the…
Mr. KAUFMAN. Madam President, I rise today in support of the nomination of…
[Page: S4476] GPO’s PDF
Mr. BROWNBACK. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the…
Mr. BROWNBACK. Madam President, today is a sad day in the history of the world….
[Page: S4477] GPO’s PDF
[Page: S4478] GPO’s PDF
[Page: S4479] GPO’s PDF
Mr. DODD. Madam President, I rise to speak on behalf of Ambassador Hill. First…
EARTH DAY
Mr. ALEXANDER. Madam President, tomorrow is Earth Day, and it is a good day to…
[Page: S4480] GPO’s PDF
Mr. CASEY. Madam President, I thank the Chair.
Mr. CASEY. I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent the order for the quorum…
Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, in late February, President Obama made an…
[Page: S4481] GPO’s PDF
Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I yield the floor.
[Page: S4482] GPO’s PDF
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CONFIRMATION — (Senate – April 21, 2009)

[Page: S4525] GPO’s PDF


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All Over But the Props … er Congressional Record

The final vote count on the Christopher Hill nomination was 73 for YEAs and 23 for NAYs, with three senators not voting. Senators Brownback, McCain, Graham, Kyl were among those who voted Nays. 17 other GOP senators joined 56 Democrats to confirm Ambassador Hill. Senators Kennedy, Roberts and Rockefeller, did not vote.

Just for the record, the debate on Ambassador Hill’s nomination in the Senate yesterday ate 29 pages of the Congressional Record. Imagine how many more pages would have been added if the senators went on for 30 more hours of debate as was originally agreed.

The generals and former ambassadors were invoked repeatedly by the senators. Generals Petreus and Odierno and the former ambassadors to Iraq where cited here by Senator Kerry. Senator Whitehouse, a former FS brat (father and grandfather were FS officers) also did the same here.

Another General’s name was also invoked, perhaps not surprisingly by those who opposed the nomination. Senator Brownback asked the Senate floor: “Why didn’t you nominate somebody such as Retired General Zinni, or why did you pick him and then pull him back?” Senator McCain who was not happy with all the ambassadors sent to Iraq so far, also managed to bring up General Zinni’s name saying: “We paid an enormous price for the gains we see in that country today. And I must say, in all candor, we have seen another Ambassador to Iraq who went there without experience, and things did not turn out so well. There are qualified individuals who are serving this Nation in and out of the Foreign Service. It well known that Marine General Zinni was offered the job, at least by some members of the administration, and then somehow that offer disappeared.”

Senator Kyl in his “anyone but Chris Hill” argument says: “While I don’t expect a carbon copy of Ambassador Crocker, I do assert again that surely the State Department has to have at least one distinguished diplomat with relevant experience in the Middle East. If it doesn’t–if its bench for Iraq is one diplomat deep–we need to find out what is going on over at the State Department.”

It is clear that the majority were able to round up more support for this nomination than the minority party; there certainly were more Senators who took to the floor in support of this nomination than those who opposed it. But Senator Kerry was the most steadfast supporter and returned every ball served by the senator from Kansas. At one point Senator Kerry called out Senator Brownback on one of his props, er exhibits of the starving children of North Korea.

screencapture from March 2009 video showing the same exhibit


Senator Kerry:

“But to show a picture of starving North Korean children in the debate on Ambassador Hill’s qualifications and to imply somehow that he is indifferent to their plight does a good public servant an enormous disservice–particularly one whose record is what I have described, who time and again has fought for the implementation of the Human Rights Act and who has taken personal risks on occasion to enforce human rights. The date of the photograph that was there was not in fact declared, but I believe it was during the great Republic of North Korea’s famine in 1996 and 1997. If that is true, that is 10 years before Ambassador Chris Hill began his duties as the lead envoy in the six-party talks. So, again, to create some sense of linkage or nexus here is inappropriate.”

And Senator Dodd on the conduct of diplomacy:

“Its not just about Chris Hill but also about how we conduct diplomacy and about a professional, an individual who has served in administrations, regardless of politics or party, but as a professional. It is extremely important, in my view, that we have a cadre of professional people in our diplomatic corps who can serve both Democratic and Republican administrations with dignity, with professionalism, with brilliance in this case, and that we recognize them. That will necessitate from time to time that there will be a change in policies, but having individuals who are able to accommodate those changes and serve the interests of our country in a highly professional capacity is something to be celebrated, in my view, and something we need more of, not less. My support for Chris Hill’s nomination is not to suggest that I necessarily agreed with every decision he made when he served at the discretion of Condoleezza Rice and President Bush but because he did so professionally and with great capacity. That willingness is something I believe we need to celebrate, as I said a moment ago, more often.”

The senate rigodon is over, but it ain’t over. There’s a lesson here for career diplomats but that’s for another post.

EXECUTIVE SESSION — (Senate – April 21, 2009)

[Page: S4471] GPO’s PDF
Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I know we are here to discuss the nomination of…
[Page: S4472] GPO’s PDF
[Page: S4473] GPO’s PDF
Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I rise today to join the distinguished …
[Page: S4474] GPO’s PDF
[Page: S4475] GPO’s PDF
Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I am very grateful to the Senator from Rhode Island…
Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I take this time to urge my colleagues to confirm…
Mr. KAUFMAN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the…
Mr. KAUFMAN. Madam President, I rise today in support of the nomination of…
[Page: S4476] GPO’s PDF
Mr. BROWNBACK. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the…
Mr. BROWNBACK. Madam President, today is a sad day in the history of the world….
[Page: S4477] GPO’s PDF
[Page: S4478] GPO’s PDF
[Page: S4479] GPO’s PDF
Mr. DODD. Madam President, I rise to speak on behalf of Ambassador Hill. First…
EARTH DAY
Mr. ALEXANDER. Madam President, tomorrow is Earth Day, and it is a good day to…
[Page: S4480] GPO’s PDF
Mr. CASEY. Madam President, I thank the Chair.
Mr. CASEY. I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent the order for the quorum…
Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, in late February, President Obama made an…
[Page: S4481] GPO’s PDF
Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I yield the floor.
[Page: S4482] GPO’s PDF
[Page: S4483] GPO’s PDF
[Page: S4484] GPO’s PDF
[Page: S4485] GPO’s PDF
[Page: S4486] GPO’s PDF
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[Page: S4498] GPO’s PDF
CONFIRMATION — (Senate – April 21, 2009)

[Page: S4525] GPO’s PDF


Officially In: Richard Morningstar, Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy

Secretary Clinton has appointed Ambassador Richard L. Morningstar as Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy (S/EEE).

The Statement from the Office of the Spokesman states that “Ambassador Morningstar and his staff will support the United States’ energy goals in the Eurasian region. He will work on key energy issues relating to Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Central Asia and the Caucasus. He will provide the Secretary with strategic advice on policy issues relating to development, transit, and distribution of energy resources in Eurasia.”

Ambassador Richard L. Morningstar was previously U.S. Ambassador to the European Union under Bill Clinton (1999-2001). Excerpt from his bio from USEU:

In 1998, Ambassador Morningstar had been Special Advisor to the President and the Secretary of State for Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy. He was responsible for assuring maximum coordination within the Executive Branch of U.S. policy and programs relating to the development of oil and gas resources in the Caspian Basin. Development of the Caspian and open commercial access to its energy resources are key priorities of the Administration.

In April 1995, Ambassador Morningstar was appointed as Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Assistance to the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union, and on June 11, 1996, the Senate confirmed him with the rank of Ambassador. He oversaw all bilateral assistance and the trade and investment activities of the 16 U.S. government agencies engaged in technical assistance, trade and investment, exchange, weapons dismantlement, and other programs in the NIS.

Ambassador Morningstar graduated from Harvard College with high honors and received a law degree from Stanford Law School.


After his stint at USEU
, he became Senior Director at Stonebridge International LLC, and Senior Counsel at Nixon Peabody since 2004. He was a Visiting Scholar and Diplomat in Residence, Stanford Institute of International Studies (2002), the Herman Phleger Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, 2002 and has been an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government (2003—Present).

Officially In: Richard Morningstar, Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy

Secretary Clinton has appointed Ambassador Richard L. Morningstar as Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy (S/EEE).

The Statement from the Office of the Spokesman states that “Ambassador Morningstar and his staff will support the United States’ energy goals in the Eurasian region. He will work on key energy issues relating to Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Central Asia and the Caucasus. He will provide the Secretary with strategic advice on policy issues relating to development, transit, and distribution of energy resources in Eurasia.”

Ambassador Richard L. Morningstar was previously U.S. Ambassador to the European Union under Bill Clinton (1999-2001). Excerpt from his bio from USEU:

In 1998, Ambassador Morningstar had been Special Advisor to the President and the Secretary of State for Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy. He was responsible for assuring maximum coordination within the Executive Branch of U.S. policy and programs relating to the development of oil and gas resources in the Caspian Basin. Development of the Caspian and open commercial access to its energy resources are key priorities of the Administration.

In April 1995, Ambassador Morningstar was appointed as Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Assistance to the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union, and on June 11, 1996, the Senate confirmed him with the rank of Ambassador. He oversaw all bilateral assistance and the trade and investment activities of the 16 U.S. government agencies engaged in technical assistance, trade and investment, exchange, weapons dismantlement, and other programs in the NIS.

Ambassador Morningstar graduated from Harvard College with high honors and received a law degree from Stanford Law School.


After his stint at USEU
, he became Senior Director at Stonebridge International LLC, and Senior Counsel at Nixon Peabody since 2004. He was a Visiting Scholar and Diplomat in Residence, Stanford Institute of International Studies (2002), the Herman Phleger Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, 2002 and has been an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government (2003—Present).

SFRC Hearings: Nominations of Burk, Daalder

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
111th CONGRESS
1st SESSION


Date:
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Time: 2:30 P.M.
Place: 419 Dirksen Senate Building
Presiding: Senator Shaheen


Senator Lugar’s Opening Statement

Nominees:

Susan Burk
to be Special Representative of the President
for Nuclear Non-Proliferation (see WH announcement)


Ivo Daalder
to be United States Permanent
Representative on the Council of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
(see WH announcement)

Updated: on 4/23/09 with links to opening statement and testimonies.

SFRC Hearings: Nominations of Burk, Daalder

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
111th CONGRESS
1st SESSION


Date:
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Time: 2:30 P.M.
Place: 419 Dirksen Senate Building
Presiding: Senator Shaheen


Senator Lugar’s Opening Statement

Nominees:

Susan Burk
to be Special Representative of the President
for Nuclear Non-Proliferation (see WH announcement)


Ivo Daalder
to be United States Permanent
Representative on the Council of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
(see WH announcement)

Updated: on 4/23/09 with links to opening statement and testimonies.