Senate Vote Expected Soon on Religious Freedom Ambassador Nominee Sam Brownback
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WASHINGTON – This week the Senate may finally vote to confirm Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback as the new Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
President Donald Trump nominated Brownback for the position back in 2017, but the Senate failed to vote to confirm him and around 200 other presidential appointments before the end of 2017.
Senate rules require unconfirmed nominees to be sent back to the president at the end of the first session unless there is unanimous consent to hold them over into the next session. Brownback's nomination was one of over 100 that was not unanimously agreed to be held over and sent back to the White House for resubmission in the new year.
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., claims sending nominations back to the president is not usually an issue, with only eight nominations not carried over during the first year of the Obama administration and only two during President George W. Bush's first year.
President Trump re-submitted Brownback's nomination in the beginning of the month, and many like David Curry, CEO of Open Doors USA, are hopeful to see him in the role soon.
"The fact that now we've been without a leader in that role I think is a problem," Curry told CBN News. "Because you have these situations around the world where we need a spokesman who understands these issues in-depth."
"I think Sam Brownback would be terrific on that," Curry noted.
The president first nominated Brownback in July, but Democrats blocked his nomination over concerns of Brownback's revocation of an executive order prohibiting discrimination against LGBT government workers in Kansas.
On Monday, the Senate filed cloture on Brownback's nomination and saw no objections. Sources tell CBN News they expect a confirmation vote on Brownback in the Senate by Friday.
After the initial vote, a final vote is expected a few days later. If he doesn't receive any Democratic support, Brownback will need support from all 51 Republicans. If just one votes against his nomination, Vice President Mike Pence would have to cast the tie-breaking vote.
If appointed, Brownback will be in charge of investigating religious freedom violations around the world and submit an annual report of violations to the White House.
"We need a point person," continued Curry. "This is not a partisan issue. Democrat or Republican or independent, you need to care about the religious liberty of others."
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