The Washington Post

Senate confirms nominee to be ambassador to Russia

As one of its last actions before recessing for August, the Senate confirmed John Tefft to be the U.S. ambassador to Russia, a post that has been vacant since February.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee rushed through its confirmation of Tefft this week, hoping the full Senate would do the same. But Thursday night, Senate Republicans blocked the nominations of several ambassadors, including Tefft.

Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) made repeated attempts to bring the nominations to the floor for a vote, but Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said he objected because of the unfairness of the “nuclear option,” which the Democrats have used to break filibusters.

But later in the night, the Republicans had a change of heart and allowed Tefft to be confirmed by a voice vote.

Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.

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