The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Menendez predicts it will be ‘very difficult’ to confirm ambassador to Cuba

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), an outspoken critic of President Obama's decision to normalize relations with Cuba, predicted Sunday that the administration would face stiff resistance on Capitol Hill when it seeks to confirm an ambassador to the Caribbean country.

"An ambassador? I would think it would be very difficult to get an ambassador confirmed,"  Menendez said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Menendez, who is Cuban American and the outgoing chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spoke out sharply against Obama's decision last month, becoming the most prominent Democratic critic of that policy shift on Capitol Hill.

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who is set to take over the Foreign Relations Committee when the new Congress is sworn in this week, promised to hold "rigorous hearings" on Cuba before any final decisions are made.