Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas was narrowly confirmed to an ambassadorship on Wednesday after a six-month wait that left Kansans increasingly confused about who was in charge of their state.
The Senate split 49-49 along party lines on the nomination of Mr. Brownback, a Republican who has grown unpopular in Kansas, to be ambassador at big for international religious freedom. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tiebreaking vote.
A lot of religious leaders praised Mr. Brownback’s confirmation, and mentioned he could use his political experience to assist religious minorities, like oppressed Christian and Yazidi communities in the Middle East.
“He has been a constant, vocal, competent and impassioned advocate for these problems,” stated the Rev. Johnnie Moore, a Southern Baptist minister who served on the evangelical advisory board for President Trump’s campaign. “It was all very logical to us that he would be the nominee, and we have been thrilled by it.”
Many Democrats and gay rights advocates opposed the nomination of Mr. Brownback, who ended anti-discrimination protections for gay state workers in 2015.
Mr. Brownback, who served seven years as governor right after stints in each chambers of Congress, drew national attention to Kansas right after he oversaw the largest revenue tax cuts in state history. But the missed revenue forecasts and wholesale cuts to state services that followed led many legislative Republicans to buck Mr. Brownback and undo his signature policy final year.
Mr. Brownback, whose term would have ended next January, was passed over for a lot more prominent jobs in the Trump administration. When he was nominated for the religious freedom ambassadorship final summer season, many expected a swift confirmation.
Mr. Brownback started handing off tasks to Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer after he was nominated, but month right after awkward month passed in Topeka without having a confirmation vote. Mr. Trump had to renominate Mr. Brownback this month right after the full Senate declined to vote last year.
“Our state’s been in type of a leadership vacuum of chaos,” stated Jim Ward, the Democratic leader in the Kansas House of Representatives and a candidate for governor. “It’s genuinely slowed down and fairly much stopped all progress on any type of policy due to the fact you’ve got two distinct guys acting like the governor.”
Mr. Colyer, a Republican and a plastic surgeon from suburban Kansas City, will assume the governorship when Mr. Brownback resigns, most likely in the coming days.
Mr. Colyer, who is looking for a complete term as governor in the election this year, will face a number of challengers in the Republican major.
Published at Thu, 25 Jan 2018 01:22:43 +0000