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Unanimous Consent Request--Executive Calendar

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 21, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. RISCH. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, first of all, let me say to my dear friend from New Jersey, I fully agree with the five nominees he has put in front of the Senate. Indeed, we had good confirmation hearings on all five of those, and none of these five--other than the one I am going to the talk about in a second--are political appointments. These are career people who have had long and distinguished service with the Secretary of State, and they are all very legitimate appointees to the places they are appointed to, which I am going to reiterate here in just a minute.

In any event, one was left off the list. I know Senator Booker had some issues with that, but I think, in the spirit of cooperation and in the spirit of bipartisanship, he offers five, and I will offer a compromise of one more. I think that is absolutely fair--five for one.

Cynthia Kierscht, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania; PN2101, Mr. Brian D. McFeeters, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador to Malaysia; PN2025, the Honorable Geeta Pasi, Class of Career Minister, to be Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; PN2030, the Honorable David Reimer, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone; and finally, William E. Todd, PN1598, to be Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

As I said, none of these are political. They have all had long and distinguished careers with the State Department. They all have great backgrounds to be Ambassadors, and I appreciate Senator Booker helping me move all six of these forward.

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Mr. RISCH. I would like to amend.
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Mr. RISCH. Mr. President, I thank Senator Booker for his kind words about the committee. I want to commit that we will continue to work in a bipartisan fashion. On the other hand, we have a disagreement here regarding this particular person. He is a well-qualified career State Department nominee. He has been nominated, of course, to be Ambassador of Pakistan. Ambassador Todd is a career member of senior executive service. He is well qualified to serve as the Ambassador. He is currently serving as the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management. He has a wealth of experience, having previously served as Ambassador twice, to Cambodia and Brunei.

His qualifications notwithstanding, now is really not the time to leave the ambassadorship and the mission in Islamabad vacant.

The others we have are also good. I don't think that it is unfair to ask that we have a trade of five for one.

In any event, we respectfully disagree at this point. I have no doubt, as we move forward, we will have other things we do agree on, but at this time, I am going to continue to object to the five.

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