In its final vote before adjourning for August recess, the Senate confirmed Samantha Power as the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations.
Following the 87-10 vote, Power will replace Susan Rice as ambassador to the UN two months after President Barack Obama appointed her to the post. Her confirmation rounded out a set of Senate confirmations Republicans agreed upon as part a truce agreement with Democrats, who in turn dropped their threat of “forcing Senate rules changes that would have made it harder for the chamber’s minority parties to block some nominations.”
Power is especially known for her particularly strong stance on human rights issues, from leveling harsh critique on the U.S. for its response to the Rwandan Genocide and Syrian civil war. Her comments criticizing the civil rights violations in Venezuela also led to the country’s refusal to return to normal relations with the U.S.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has expressed heavy doubts about Power’s suitability as ambassador to the UN, saying that the UN must be “more accountable, that it is more effective and that it is just not some multilateral ideal in which we invest all of our hopes.” However, Committee Chairman for Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez (D-NJ) applauded Power. He called her a “a tireless defender of human rights” and commenting that “She has seen the tragedy of human suffering from the front lines, first hand.” Menendez also concluded “Certainly no one can question her willingness to speak her mind.”
After being confirmed, the White House released a press statement congratulating Power on her confirmation. “I’m grateful that Samantha will continue to be a vital member of my national security team, and I know that under her leadership our U.N. Mission in New York will continue to represent American diplomacy at its best.”
Media Resources: ABC News 8/1/2013; White House 8/1/2013; Associated Press 7/31/2013