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Catholic Appointed as US Ambassador for Religious Freedom
26 January 2018, 02:37 | Kara Nash
Pence Called to Senate Floor to Save Brownback's Nomination to Religious Freedom Post
Vice President Mike Pence cast his eighth tie-breaking vote in the Senate on Wednesday to save the controversial nomination of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to be ambassador at large for global religious freedom.
Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, a Johnson County plastic surgeon, will succeed Brownback as governor if the Senate approves Brownback's ambassadorship.
Audio will be available later today.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate narrowly confirmed Brownback's nomination for Ambassador at Large for International Freedom. The final vote was delayed almost three weeks because several Republican leaders wavered amid skepticism about whether the lease-purchase deal was the most cost-effective option.
"I do not take my vote against a former colleague's nomination lightly, nor do I question Governor Brownback's devotion to his own faith".
Two Republican dissenters would be enough to sink his nomination if every Democrat opposed Brownback.
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Throughout the tax reform battle in the fall, Democrats often cited tax cuts in Kansas - which Brownback supported - that were later repealed after the state's economy struggled.
The Senate vote split on partisan lines (49-49), which meant that Vice President Mike Pence was needed to cast the deciding vote to confirm his nomination. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who was at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Not a single Democrat voted for cloture to advance it to debate.
Brownback's office has yet to release the details of Colyer's swearing-in ceremony.
Brownback won election to the Senate in 1996, when he defeated Sen.
Sam Brownback resigned Thursday after the Senate confirmed him as the Trump's administration's ambassador-at-large for worldwide religious freedom. Others argued that the International Religious Freedom office will be significantly larger, and the change does not suggest that the Trump administration is uninterested in the subject. Previous ambassadors, Robert Seiple, John Hanford and Suzan Johnson Cook, are Protestant, while David Saperstein, the most recent ambassador, is Jewish.
"I can not in good faith support the confirmation of someone as ambassador-at-large for religious freedom who does not believe that all individuals are created equally in God's image", he said.
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