Biden nominee/Russia expert finally gets through despite efforts by far-right Republican Josh Hawley


Last week, Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri sought to block a key expert on Russia and two other defense experts, continuing his agenda of slowing down every appointment made by the Biden administration.

As the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to fester, Hawley’s move dragged out the confirmation process for Celeste Wallander, Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. Wallander is CEOP of U.S. Russia Foundation and Russia director for the National Security council.

via Twitter

When Hawley objected to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s request to proceed with confirming Wallander, Shaheen slammed Hawley’s stall tactics for “making us less secure.”

This week, Shaheen again blasted Hawley, claiming he would “rather grandstand on Afghanistan” than address the current threats the Russia-Ukraine conflict pose to the U.S.

Hawley’s slow-down tactics have drawn widespread criticism from both sides of the aisle.

Hawley claims he is trying to pressure Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other officials to resign over the Biden administration’s handling of Afghanistan last year and that he would stop if more public hearings on the withdrawal from Afghanistan were to be held.

Via Twitter

The Senate broke Hawley’s logjam this week, confirming Wallander in a landslide vote of 83-13, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D. NY) saying that Wallanders “expertise is urgently needed.”

Schumer also criticized the hold up, without calling out Hawley by name:

“To intentionally delay the confirmation of a critical Department of Defense nominee and a Russian expert at a time when tensions persist in Ukraine and Eastern Europe is supremely reckless and is making the American people less safe.”

While Hawley alone doesn’t have the power to prevent confirmations, his objections have forced Schumer to hold more procedural votes to confirm nominees, and he can, and is likely to, continue to do so, until he is satisfied with the administrations’ chaotic exit from Afghanistan.

The post Biden nominee/Russia expert finally gets through despite efforts by far-right Republican Josh Hawley first appeared on TPL News.

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