Category: Archive

Ambassador post likely to be vacant

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Susan Falvella-Garraty

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As for the selection of a replacement for outgoing U.S. ambassador to Ireland, Jean Kennedy-Smith, chances for Senate confirmation during this session are dimming. Michael Sullivan, former Democratic governor of Wyoming, is waiting in the wings as the Clinton administration’s choice.

Because of appropriation bills taking priority on Capitol Hill, the Senate majority leader, Sen. Trent Lott, the Mississippi Republican, said ambassadorial nominations would have to take a back seat while congress sorts out funding issues.

Democrats said the senate Republican leadership is also attempting to stymie several Clinton nominations because of political considerations. It seems the United States’ top post in Phoenix Park will not be filled soon because of Sen. Jesse Helms will not allow James Hormel’s nomination to be ambassador to Luxembourg for consideration by the committee he chairs. Hormel is openly gay.

“It’s a shame that Ireland won’t have an ambassador from here at a very critical time because of a moral litmus test,” said one staff member from Capitol Hill.

The congressional session will end in October to allow for congressional races and will not come back into session until the beginning of next year.

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