NOMINATION MOVES FORWARD
Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted late Thursday evening to advance President Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Agency for Global Media.
The committee voted 12-10 along party lines to send Michael Pack’s nomination to the full Senate.
The vote followed a roughly hourlong, at times testy, debate over Pack’s nomination, as well as a more-than-20-minute closed session, where the audio feed was cut off so senators could privately discuss his nomination.
The meeting over Pack’s nomination was expected to be contentious. He is under investigation by the D.C. attorney general’s office for potential misuse of funds from his nonprofit, the Public Media Lab.
Democrats tried seven times during Thursday’s meeting to delay the vote on Pack’s nomination. Each was defeated on a party line vote. After the seventh, Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), the chairman of the committee, said he would not allow additional attempts to delay the vote, arguing that they had become “dilatory.”
Risch defended the decision to move forward with Pack’s nomination, saying that he would “stand down” if the U.S. attorney general or the Department of Justice requested it.
“The hallmarks of this committee have always been civility, kindness, understanding and tolerance and I’d ask us to double down on that hallmark as we go forward with this,” he added, noting that Pack’s nomination had become a “particularly partisan matter.”
Trump announced in 2018 that he was nominating Pack to lead the agency, which has oversight of Voice of America — a frequent target of the president’s criticism.