The Senate has agreed on confirmation votes Tuesday on three ambassadorial nominations, two of which have been stalled since November 2013. But there were no signs of any progress in clearing a backlog of more than 40 other nominations the Obama administration has been trying to get through.

Those remain in limbo, thanks to partisan wrangling and recrimination over filibuster rules.

Senate Democrats said they would take voice votes Tuesday on three career diplomats: Michael Hoza as ambassador to Cameroon; Larry Andre to Mauritania; and Joan A. Polaschik to Algeria. Hoza and Andre were nominated by President Obama in November 2013; Polaschik was named just in May.

Hoza was featured in a Washington Post story July 25, about the human toll of the delays, with families of nominees waiting around in rental apartments, not to mention whole countries waiting around for U.S. representation at the ambassadorial level. Cameroon has taken on more urgency in recent days thanks to incursions by the Nigeria-based Islamic militant group Boko Haram.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry wrote to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in late June suggesting that nominations of career Foreign Service ambassadors be confirmed “en bloc,” like military promotions. With just a few days remaining until Congress recesses until September, there was little prospect of that happening, despite Texas Republican Ted Cruz saying Monday that he was lifting the “hold” he had placed on nominations in protest over a Federal Aviation Administration temporary ban on U.S. flights to Israel.