Quickie: Senator LeMieux, Brazil is Waiting

Today’s editorial of The Miami Herald calls on the state’s newbie Senator LeMieux to release his hold on the nomination of Thomas Shannon to be US Ambassador to Brazil. Excerpts below:

Unblock ambassador nomination
Sen. LeMieux should allow Senate vote on nominee for Brazil post

When George LeMieux was appointed three months ago to replace retiring U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, the 40-year-old former chief of staff to Gov. Charlie Crist vowed to focus on making government more efficient and effective. He has a strange way of going about it.

In his first foray into foreign affairs, Sen. LeMieux has placed a “hold” on the nomination of President Obama’s choice to become ambassador to Brazil, putting a freeze on the Senate confirmation process. This ensures that U.S. relations with the largest country in Latin America are neither efficient nor effective.
“I feel like I have a role and a responsibility far greater than other senators do in terms of anything that deals with Latin America,” he said.

If that’s the case, he would not stand in the way of this nomination. Brazil, the fifth most populous country in the world, is the most influential nation in our region, an economic powerhouse and Florida’s No. 1 trading partner overseas — by far.
Sen. LeMieux has an obligation to either raise specific, serious questions about Mr. Shannon or allow the nomination to go forward. The U.S. relationship with Brazil is too important to be undermined by domestic political squabbles.

Read the whole thing here.