Skip to content

Risch in Foreign Policy: Biden’s failure to tap ambassadors to key posts “sends the wrong message”

BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, published an op-ed in Foreign Policy today on his philosophy regarding ambassador and State Department nominations.

“My policy on nominations is no secret. I believe an executive should be able to pick his team and have them in action sooner rather than later,” Risch wrote. “The U.S. Senate has a clear constitutional role of advice and consent, and I, and every other senator, take this responsibility seriously. This means the administration and the Senate must work together to move nominees through the process quickly.”

“This is the origin of the problem: Biden has been slow to nominate people—especially ambassadors. The president did not nominate his first country ambassadors until April 19, 2021, and even then, it took months for a critical mass of nominees to come to the Senate,” Risch continued. “Virtually all nominees were submitted without the paperwork required for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to begin its review process, creating a backlog just as the Senate was recessing for August and Afghanistan was falling apart.”

“These first-step delays persist. As of Jan. 28, the president has still not nominated ambassadors to serve in the Philippines, South Korea, Sudan or Ukraine. Only after I sent a letter to him earlier this month did he name an ambassador for the United Kingdom. All of these countries are either close treaty allies of the United States or face substantial security challenges that could soon erupt into conflict. Failure to tap nominees to fill these posts sends the wrong message that diplomacy with these countries is not that important,” Risch concluded.

The full op-ed can be read in Foreign Policy here.