Bipartisan foreign policy heavyweights want Senate to fill post


Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) (L) and ranking members Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) listen during a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee June 5, 2014 on Capitol Hill. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A bipartisan group of 49 foreign policy veterans — including some former senior officials in the Bush II administration — are calling on the Senate to fill the job of assistant secretary of state for International Organization Affairs (IO).

The job’s been vacant for a year and and the nomination of Bathsheba Crocker, a foreign policy hand who’s now at the State Department, to helm the IO — John Bolton’s old job during Bush I — has been pending about seven months.

The foreign policy heavyweights, including former deputy secretary of State John Negroponte and Bush White House and State Department legal adviser John Bellinger, wrote to Senate leaders recently about the nomination, noting the critical issues IO has before it, such as Crimea, Ukraine and Syria, Iran nukes and so on.

In the post-nuclear option world, virtually no nominations are moving even when, like Crocker, they have broad bipartisan support and a unanimous vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

We’re told the group urges that “her quick confirmation would send a strong message that the U.S. Senate is serious about ensuring the United States” continues to lead the world for democracy and freedom.

Thinking it’s gonna take a whole lot more than that before anyone thinks the Senate is serious about anything these days.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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Colby Itkowitz · June 9, 2014