The new UN ambassador faces a diplomatic task to redress American leadership in the United Nations after the Trump era.
The US Senate on Tuesday confirmed diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield as US Ambassador to the United Nations.
Thomas-Greenfield was confirmed by a 78-20 vote as President Joe Bidens’ candidate to represent the United States at the UN. A second vote on her to represent the United States at meetings of the United Nations General Assembly was slated for Tuesday afternoon after allowing a 77-20 procedural vote.
A career foreign service officer, Thomas-Greenfield was Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2013 to 2017 under the Obama administration.
President Biden is once again emphasizing US diplomacy and multilateralism in international affairs after former President Donald Trump pursued an America First policy.
Thomas-Greenfield takes his post at the UN after a four-year period of poor relations between the UN and the United States during the Trump presidency.
Reversing Trump’s unilateral measures, the United States under Biden joined the United Nations Paris Agreement on climate change, the United Nations Human Rights Council and the World Health Organization (WHO) United Nations.
The Biden administration is also trying to save the UN-backed Iran nuclear deal that Trump abandoned in 2018.
Bidens cabinet continues to take shape
The full Senate is also set to confirm lawyer and politician Thomas Vilsack as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on Tuesday, and several Senate committees are holding confirmation hearings on other Biden candidates this week.
A former governor of the agricultural state of Iowa, Vilsack previously served in the Obama administration as secretary of agriculture from 2009 to 2017.
Bidens’ appointment of Neera Tanden as head of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, a key domestic policy post, appears to be in trouble due to her history of harsh political attacks on social media.
Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat, has said he will not back her confirmation, suggesting Biden may have to withdraw her candidacy or see her defeated in a Senate vote that is split 50 to 50 between Democrats and Republicans.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday that Tanden still had the support of the presidents and Biden subsequently expressed confidence in its eventual confirmation.
Were going to grow. We still think there is a blow, a good blow, Biden said.
Xavier Becerra, a former California state official and House representative Biden appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Services, faces opposition from some Republicans. Seen as a political choice, Becerra faced controversial issues before the Senate Health Committee.
Merrick Garland, Bidens’ candidate for the post of United States attorney general and head of the Department of Justice, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday for questioning by senators.
A US appeals court judge renowned for his centrist judicial opinions, Merricks’ confirmation appears assured with the backing of key Democrats and Republicans.
The Senate is also moving forward with the appointment of Deb Haaland to be the first Native American to be secretary of the interior.
Haaland, a member of the US House of Representatives from the state of New Mexico, appeared before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Tuesday.
American diplomat William Burns, Bidens’ candidate for the head of the CIA, is due to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday to answer questions from senators.
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