Ted Cruz to Block State Dept. Nominees Until Inspector General Nominated

Ted Cruz to Block State Dept. Nominees Until Inspector General Nominated

By BURGESS EVERETT | Via -Politico
Sen. Ted Cruz said Wednesday he will hold up all presidential nominees for the State Department until President Barack Obama nominates an inspector general for the department.

The Texas Republican said that the attacks on Americans in Benghazi as well as overspending in overseas conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq underscore the need for Obama to select a watchdog to the State Department, which has been missing a permanent IG since Obama assumed the presidency in 2009.

“The position has been vacant for almost 2,000 days. This is a crucial oversight position and should be a priority for an agency facing substantial management challenges,” Cruz said. “Until the president acts, I have notified Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that I will place a hold on all State Department nominations.”

Secretary of State John Kerry told senators in April that a candidate for the IG position is coming soon. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the nomination of that candidate will be revealed “after the vetting and paperwork process is complete.”

“This is a position that’s particularly important to the Secretary and to the President. Regarding other nominations, the Secretary remains focused on the State Department’s full team in place. We have a number of outstanding nominees in front of the Senate now, and more nominations coming from the White House as well,” Ventrell said in an e-mail.

Cruz also emphasized the need for permanent watchdogs to be selected for the Interior and Labor departments, but “only the State Department has been without a credible and independent inspector general for so long,” Cruz said.

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