Senate panel OKs Obama envoys for UN, Europe

AP News
Posted: Jul 23, 2013 4:23 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel has approved President Barack Obama's choices for U.N. envoy and top U.S. diplomat to Europe.

In a voice vote, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced the nominations of five senior diplomats, including former White House adviser Samantha Power for U.N. ambassador and former State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland for assistant secretary of state for Europe.

Two Republican senators on the 18-member committee voted against Power: Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Rubio and Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho voted against Nuland.

In her confirmation hearing, Power faced scrutiny over comments she made as a journalist and human rights campaigner perceived as critical of the U.S. or Israel.

Nuland was questioned by several GOP senators over what she knew about last year's deadly Benghazi attack.