Democrats are expected to bring a vote to the Senate floor as early as Wednesday on the nomination of Mari Carmen Aponte as U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, and Senator Marco Rubio is feeling the pressure from leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to follow through on his pledge to rally Republican votes to finally confirm her appointment.
Aponte’s nomination has been awaiting confirmation since December, and was at the center of a heated partisan battle led by Jim DeMint of South Carolina, in which Senator Rubio participated by insisting he would work to deliver the necessary Republican votes but never delivering.
The Republican blockade on Aponte’s confirmation was unrelated to her work overseas, where she has been serving as ambassador to El Salvador since being appointed by President Obama in August 2012. Due to her work, El Salvador has become a close partner and ally of the U.S., and it was the first Latin American country to send troops to Afghanistan.
“… [H]is objection to her and the other Western Hemisphere nominees was never personal, but rather (over) concerns with the administration’s approach to democracy in the region,” says Alex Conant, Senator Rubio’s Spokesman.
This would be a good time for Republicans to realize this is a win-win for them, the country and the Latino community. Voting to confirm Ambassador Aponte will help the GOP start mending fences with the Latino community – which many Republican strategists admit the party desperately needs – and importantly, it will put in place a committed public servant in El Salvador that has done nothing but represent the interests of the United States with expertise, aplomb, and the highest degree of diplomatic decorum.
CALL YOUR SENATORS TODAY AND URGE THEM TO CONFIRM MARI CARMEN APONTE AS AMBASSADOR TO EL SALVADOR.