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Monday, September 27, 2021

Hawley says he’ll hold up State and Defense Department nominee unless Blinken and Austin resign over Afghanistan exit

The Missouri Republican informed CNN that his holds will apply to any civilian nominee on the deputy and secretary ranges, in addition to ambassadors.

The transfer would drive Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to take time-consuming procedural steps required to advance many uncontroversial nominees. And with scant ground time, it might be sufficient to indefinitely delay any variety of nominees who usually can be rapidly confirmed by voice vote.

Speaking earlier Tuesday on the Senate ground, Hawley demanded President Joe Biden’s nationwide safety adviser, Jake Sullivan, additionally resign, arguing that “the failure of these individuals, the failure of this administration, has cost Americans their lives and has left American civilians to the enemy.”

“There must be accountability and then there must be a new start,” he mentioned.

CNN has reached out to the White House for remark. The senator’s menace will doubtless trigger issues inside the Biden administration, which has already been gradual to announce some key nominations and has but to have confirmed ambassadors put in in key international locations equivalent to China, India, France or Israel.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez scoffed at Hawley’s plans on Tuesday, charging his fellow senator with risking US nationwide safety.

“That would undermine US national security and its interests,” mentioned Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat. “That would be a brilliant idea on behalf of Sen. Hawley.”

But Hawley pushed again on the notion that his transfer would jeopardize nationwide safety efforts, telling CNN that his concern was, amongst different issues, with the 13 US service members killed in a terrorist assault in Afghanistan final month as troops raced to evacuate Americans and susceptible Afghans.

“I’m concerned that hundreds of American civilians were left behind enemy lines and are still there. And I’m concerned the President of the United States said it was an extraordinary success … I can’t think of another example in American history when a commander in chief has celebrated that kind catastrophe as a success,” the senator mentioned. “He should resign.”

Among the individuals who might get caught up in Hawley’s plans are Scott Miller, an LGBTQ rights activist and philanthropist who Biden nominated final month to be the following US ambassador to Switzerland, and Rahm Emanuel, Biden’s decide to be ambassador to Japan.
The menace might additionally complicate the affirmation processes for Melissa Dalton, Biden’s decide to be assistant secretary for Homeland Defense and Global Security Affairs on the Defense Department, and a bunch of different State Department nominees, together with David Cohen to be the US ambassador to Canada, Karen Donfried to be the assistant secretary of European and Eurasian Affairs and Anne Witkowsky to be the assistant secretary for Conflict and Stabilization Operations.

The Senate on Monday confirmed three State Department nominees: Donald Lu for assistant secretary for South Asian Affairs, Brett Holmgren for assistant secretary for Intelligence and Research, and Brian Nichols for assistant secretary for the Western Hemisphere.

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