The Washington Post

Senate confirms seven Obama nominees

Mike Hammer (U.S. State Department) Michael Hammer (U.S. State Department)

Just in time for Vice President Biden’s visit to the country next week, the Senate confirmed Michael Hammer as U.S. ambassador to Chile on Thursday. The vote, which ensures a top American diplomat will be on hand to escort Biden and wife, Dr. Jill Biden, unshackles one of the nearly 50 ambassadorial nominees held up in Senate gridlock.

The Senate gave unanimous approval to Hammer, a career foreign service officer and most recently Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, along with five other agency nominees.

Among them was Kathryn D. Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.

The only roll call vote came on Rose Gottemoeller’s nomination to be Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Republicans had claimed that she – and the White House – had not shared information that Russia possibly violated a nuclear treaty. She was confirmed 58-42.

The Senate also confirmed Gil Kerlikowske, former White House drug czar, to be Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection; Suzanne Spaulding to be Under Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; John Roth to be Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security; Rhonda K. Schmidtlein to be a member of the United States International Trade Commission.

Seven down…

Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.
Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
Quoted
We'll have half a million voters in South Carolina. I can shake a lot of hands, but I can't shake that many.
Sen. Marco Rubio, speaking to a group of reporters about his strategy to regain support after a poor performance in the last debate
Fact Checker
Sanders’s claim that Clinton objected to meeting with ‘our enemies’
Sanders said that Clinton was critical of Obama in 2008 for suggesting meeting with Iran. In fact, Clinton and Obama differed over whether to set preconditions, not about meeting with enemies. Once in office, Obama followed the course suggested by Clinton, abandoning an earlier position as unrealistic.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands
Most Read

politics

in-the-loop

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.