Skip the boring U.S. Senate votes.
President Biden ought to just send out all the pending nominees for ambassadors as Special Presidential Envoys to countries around the globe. If the nominees have cleared the SFRC but have been subjected to the blanket hold by senators chasing their presidential ambitions in laughable displays, President Biden should just save these senators from their jobs, and appoint his nominees as Special Presidential Envoys. He should then swear-in all the SPEs at the White House and send them off packing to get to their new posts ASAP. The Special Presidential Envoys would still need to report to the geographic assistant secretaries in Foggy Bottom, but they will be at our missions overseas instead of being held hostages in Washington D.C.
Back in 2014, the GOP Senate did the same thing with President Obama’s nominees. At that time we wrote:
Certainly, a mass appointment of Special Presidential Envoys would be a bad precedent. We are also pretty sure our U.S. Senate would be terribly unhappy and offended if President Obama simply announce the appointments of five dozen Special Presidential Envoys in place of his ambassadors. And without the advice and consent of the Senate. Of course, they would!
That said, if our senators cannot do kumbaya work for the sake of the United States, if they continue trading blame on why the nominees are stuck in the Senate, and if they kept on putting party before country, why then should we mind if they are offended and get ulcers?
Right now, the two parties are not trading blame.
It’s just one party that has long lost control of its screaming children (oh let’s not even start about the best quality people they have in the House). It is bonkers that one or two senators could place a blanket hold on nominees with no relation to their pet issues or even without any pet issue. One senator placed a hold on nominations unless two cabinet secretaries resign. One senator wanted diplomats to”not get invited to parties” in China. This senator must think diplomats go to diplomatic receptions and parties for fun; just how deep is this willful ignorance?
These senators went to the best schools, and have been in office for a while; they must realized the consequences their actions have on our overseas missions. So, no, it’s not that they don’t know that their actions have consequences. It’s simply that they don’t care. Whatever consequences may befall our overseas missions due to their actions; they don’t care. There’s no way around that reality.
But surely, these senators’ pet issues are the most important issues in all the world, right? More important than our country’s standing in the world. More important than the perceptions among foreign audience that the United States is screwy these days. Also more important than finding out who’s to blame for the January 6 insurrection. Servants of the people serving their own selves and ambitions. Oh, yes, aren’t we lucky to be served by these servants who loved our country more than they love their own pretty selves? Give them an applause, please.
But go ahead, Joe … make our day and give these senators some goddamn ulcers!
Release all the Special Presidential Envoys into the wild (and not so wild places)!
New — Cruz’s blockade prompting growing GOP concerns with 54 ambassador nominees awaiting floor action and key diplomatic posts vacant. Manchin told me: “It’s wrong.” One option: A rules change to confirm five nominees at a time. He’s talking to Rs. https://t.co/JHBFzA5IWy
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 10, 2021
John Cornyn: There's some places that we need ambassadors," citing countries like India, China and Japan.
"I'd like to be able to clear some of those.”
Asked about Cruz's blockade, Barrasso said: "I think we need to make sure we get ambassadors in place."
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 10, 2021
GOP Sen. Josh Hawley says he will place a hold on "every single civilian nominee" for the State and Defense departments unless Blinken and Austin resign.
He said that his holds will apply to any civilian nominee at the deputy and secretary levels, as well as ambassadors.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 14, 2021
.@marcorubio: "We need diplomats that are going to be strong and are going to go to China and not get invited to their parties… but actually be very strong about expressing our outrage.."
— Mornings with Maria (@MorningsMaria) November 18, 2021