UNITED NATIONS (TRNS) – The United States Senate has voted to approve Samantha Power as the next U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
By a vote of 87 – 10, the Senate put to bed speculation that Power would be the target of concerted opposition by Republican lawmakers concerned with her past positions on Israel or American responsibility for failure to intervene in humanitarian conflicts.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) issued a last-minute condemnation of Power’s nomination, saying she would threaten American sovereignty by ceding power to the world body.
“Samantha Power’s positions on the United Nations suggest she agrees with President Obama in giving the United Nations authority over fundamental rights, such as our right to bear arms, and in allowing US taxpayer dollars to be used at the UN to undermine our ally, Israel,” Cruz said in a statement.
Cruz was joined by a short roster other Republicans in voting against Power, but the most of his party ended up falling in line behind the nominee, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
Although not able to vote today, Senator John McCain issued a statement in support of Power, saying he was, “confident that Samantha believes that America is an exceptional nation with an indispensable role to play in the world.”
The U.N. is in need of sweeping reform, and I don’t believe Samantha Power is the right person to lead this effort: http://t.co/pFzMG5hB7a
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) August 1, 2013
Just cast my vote for Samantha Power as @USUN Ambassador. Her extensive experience will serve our nation well
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) August 1, 2013
The likelihood of Power’s congressional approval increased following her Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on July 17 came and by with less push back from lawmakers than some observers had expected.
Under questioning by the Senate committee, Power sought to assuage potential critics by positioning herself as a defender of Israel, going as far as to suggest that the anti-Israel bent among U.N. member states owed itself to the lack of democracy in those countries.
“The constant delegitimization of Israel across the U.N. system…is a source of almost indescribable concern to me and to this administration,” Power said at the hearing.
Since the departure of former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in early June, career diplomat Rosemary DiCarlo has served as the acting Permanent Representative of the U.S. at the U.N. headquarters in New York.