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Senate Foreign Relations approves Branstad

Senate Foreign Relations committee members approve Governor Terry Branstad as U.S. ambassador to China. The vote will now go to the full Senate.

The Associated Press reports senators approved Branstad’s nomination by voice vote. The committee’s Top Democrat, Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, says Branstad is “fully qualified” for the job. This comes during a time when the Trump administration is pushing the Chinese to act more aggressively to defuse North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

“As we saw evidenced in his confirmation hearing last week, Governor Branstad will exemplify the same leadership, thoughtfulness, and dedication in his role as Ambassador to China on behalf of the United States as he has for the people of Iowa. I congratulate Governor Branstad on his approval by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, and I hope that the full Senate will move quickly to confirm Governor Branstad for this important role,” Iowa Senator Joni Ernst said.

Branstad said he will confront Beijing on a range of hot button issues, including human rights and trade.