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DeMint delays committee vote on nominations of Arturo Valenzuela and Thomas Shannon

Dr. Arturo Valenzuela

Dr. Arturo Valenzuela

The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room reports:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) delayed committee votes on two State Department posts today over objections to the administration’s policy towards Honduras, Reuters reports.

DeMint, who believes the recent coup in Honduras was legal, asked to delay votes on the nominations of (1) Arturo Valenzuela to be Assistant Secretary of State for western hemisphere affairs and (2) Thomas Shannon to be Ambassador to Brazil. Shannon currently holds the westerh hemisphere post, and Valenzuela would be his replacement when he ships off to Brazil.

Committee members are customarily granted requests for delays on nomination votes.

The Senate Foreign Relations committee will likely vote on the nominations next week, by which time DeMint hopes the administration will reconsider its support for ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.

Let’s hope the vote takes place soon. Both men, including my Georgetown colleague Arturo Valenzuela, should be confirmed. If DeMint is concerned about the Administration’s Latin American policy, you would think he would support putting people in place who can help make that policy.

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Anthony Clark Arend is Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the Director of the Master of Science in Foreign Service in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Commentary and analysis at the intersection of international law and politics.