Fights over President Obama's judicial and executive branch nominees have been well-documented in the past. But for the first time, the State Department is raising concerns about how the backlog is affecting U.S. relations abroad.
First, a look at the dozens of nominees waiting to fill ambassador positions worldwide. The State Department notes that many of the vacancies are in Africa and South America:
In addition to ambassadors, Secretary of State John F. Kerry has complained to lawmakers that several key senior positions at the State Department also remain unfilled. Here's a look at the slots, the nominees and how long they've waited:
Read more on the ambassadorial backlog here — and share your thoughts in the comments section below.