Sen. Ted Cruz Blocks Confirmation of Crucial Biden Diplomatic Appointments
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been blocking diplomats from being confirmed for crucial positions in the State Department for months, and now he is getting blowback by the lawmakers from both parties.
Lawmakers believe that the Texas Republican is creating difficulties for the Biden administration to move forward with its necessary diplomacy work simply for political gain.
It has been about six months since President Joe Biden took office. However, the Biden administration has been only able to confirm six State Department nominees on the Senate floor.
Cruz is currently a Senate Foreign Relations Committee member, which was how he successfully blocked these nominations.
The Texas senator is trying to influence the Biden administration regarding Russia policy, which even his fellow Republicans say is fruitless. Cruz’s move has even triggered a heated conversation in the last week’s committee meeting with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman.
“Sen. Cruz, this committee has had a long history which you are blackening by virtue of turning the committee’s business for a political purpose,” Menendez told Cruz during a meeting. “Maybe it’s your presidential aspirations, I don’t know, but you’re turning to political purposes. You held over every nominee. Every nominee! I’ve never seen that.”
Cruz is particularly blamed for blocking Bonnie Jenkins, the nominee of the assistant secretary of state for arms control and international security affairs.
U.S. and Russian officials will have a crucial meeting on July 28 for nuclear talks, so the nomination of Jenkins is crucial for the Biden administration at this point.