WASHINGTON − The US is one step closer to confirming an ambassador to Israel.
The Senate International Relations Committee voted Wednesday morning to transfer the nomination out of committee for Jack Lew to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Israel. The nomination now heads to the Senate flooring for a full vote.
The committee voted to advance Lew 12-9 alongside social gathering strains. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was the one Republican to vote alongside Democrats in favor of Lew’s nomination.
It clears a key hurdle for Lew — treasury secretary within the Obama administration and an Orthodox Jew — to be confirmed by the complete Senate.
Senate Republicans grilled Lew final week when he testified earlier than the committee throughout a listening to interrupted several times by protesters exemplifying how excessive tensions are with the ambassadorship on the road amid a battle within the Center East.
“I’ll work to strengthen Israel’s safety,” Lew stated throughout his testimony final week. “Israel is our closest accomplice within the area and its safety is paramount.”
The US at the moment doesn’t have a chosen ambassador after Thomas Nides left the place over the summer season. President Joe Biden nominated Lew for the role in September.
Democrats have pushed to verify Lew as quickly as doable as war rages on between Israel and Hamas, however Lew hasn’t confronted a seamless path to ambassadorship.
Senate Republicans have signaled that Lew just isn’t the best match for the job, citing his previous file as Treasury Secretary in former President Barack Obama’s administration and as Director of the Workplace of Administration and Finances in former President Invoice Clinton’s administration.
Republicans are pointing to Lew’s position in supporting the Obama administration’s negotiations through the Iran nuclear deal and declare Lew was not clear and misled the committee concerning transferring cash to the Iran regime as Treasury secretary.
“We want this factor stuffed. The issue I’ve is it wants to be crammed with the best particular person,” Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, stated through the nomination listening to final week. Risch serves as the highest Republican on the Senate International Relations Committee.
It’s unclear when the higher chamber will take up Lew’s nomination on the Senate flooring, however Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged his colleagues final week to approve Lew “with none partisan delays.”
“Mr. Lew has confirmed himself a powerful public servant, a ferocious ally of Israel, so delaying him could be egregious at a time like this. We should transfer him shortly and I hope we’ll,” Schumer stated.
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Jack Lew closer to Israeli ambassadorship after Senate committee vote