Key GOP senator drops hold on top Obama diplomatic nominee

AP News
Posted: Jan 07, 2016 7:07 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key Republican senator has cleared the way for one of President Barack Obama's top diplomatic nominees to be confirmed.

Sen. Chuck Grassley's spokeswoman says the Judiciary Committee chairman released his hold on Tom Shannon's nomination to the State Department's third-highest position.

Beth Levine says Grassley took the action last month.

The revelation came after Secretary of State John Kerry implored the GOP-led Senate on Thursday to confirm Shannon and a dozen other senior nominees. Some have waited a year.

They include Brian Egan, waiting to be the department's legal adviser, and Roberta Jacobson, for ambassador to Mexico.

Grassley is still blocking Egan's confirmation over an investigation of an aide to ex-Secretary Hillary Clinton.

Presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are among those impeding confirmation of the others.