The Senate’s Democratic majority and a smaller selection of Republicans have voted to overcome right-wingers including Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and confirm a longtime member of the Obama and Biden teams to a State Department position.
The individual whose nomination was up for a vote was Elizabeth Allen, who was with the Obama administration for roughly its entire eight years and has served in various communications-related roles throughout Democrats’ government and political teams. On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Allen to be the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, mirroring some of her past work. (Public diplomacy involves diplomatic efforts that, either directly or indirectly, target foreign audiences not necessarily in government for either long-term or immediate results.)
No Dems opposed Allen’s confirmation to her new role, which received the support of 66 Senators. Any public diplomacy efforts from the U.S. took a substantial hit when Trump was in office, considering the general appearance of utter chaos that he cultivated. He has often directly antagonized foreign allies of the United States, targeting their basic interests. For instance, he’s railed seemingly endlessly against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which is a military alliance that provides a key foundation for much of the so-called Western world’s defense because of an agreement from members to participate in the defense of another member if they face an attack.
Trump has suggested not abiding by that basic agreement, potentially leaving U.S. allies to military violence from other governments like the Russian regime led by Vladimir Putin.
Since its recent passage of the necessary deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, the Senate has been focusing — at least in its roll call votes, committee proceedings notwithstanding — essentially entirely on various nominations from the president that require the chamber’s support. Such is a key Senate role, making the continued Democratic majority all the more critical.