Former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL) faces a familiar opponent — Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC) in her quest to be the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand. President Clinton has nominated Moseley-Braun for the post, but the nomination requires Senate confirmation, unless Clinton makes the appointment during a congressional recess.
Helms said before allowing the Senate to proceed with Moseley-Braun’s confirmation, he plans to hold hearings to examine charges of misconduct in Moseley-Braun’s past.
Helms said his opposition to Moseley-Braun stems from their 1993 battle over the renewal of the United Daughters of the Confederacy patent, a symbol that Moseley-Braun believes represents slavery. Helms also said “at the very minimum she has got to apologize for the display that she that she provoked over a little symbol for a wonderful group of little old ladies.”
Democrats, angered by the opposition to Moseley-Braun’s appointment, are suggesting that President Clinton appoint her to the post in the interim, when Congress is in recess for the year. If Clinton were to appoint Moseley-Braun during the congressional recess, he would bypass Helms’ opposition.