US Senate approves Miriam Sapiro as deputy trade representative
The U.S. Senate approved Miriam Sapiro to be deputy U.S. trade representative, filling one of several still vacant positions on Obama's senior trade team.
The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved Miriam Sapiro to be deputy U.S. trade representative, filling one of several still vacant positions on President Barack Obama's senior trade team.
Sapiro was confirmed along with a host of ambassadors, judges and other government officials on a voice vote shortly before the Senate wrapped up its work for the year.
Her nomination had been blocked for months by Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning, a Republican who hoped to exert pressure on the Obama administration to resolve his concerns over recent tobacco legislation passed by Canada.
Bunning was absent on Thursday for key Senate votes on healthcare reform and to raise the U.S. debt limit.
As Obama approaches the end of his first year in office, a number of key international positions remain vacant at the U.S. Trade Representative's office and the Treasury Department.
On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee backed Michael Punke to be U.S. ambassador to the World Trade Organization, Lael Brainard to be Treasury undersecretary for international affairs and Isi Siddiqui to be chief U.S. agricultural negotiator.
But the Senate approved none of those nominations on Thursday and the earliest it could now is Jan. 19 when it returns for work. That would be one day short of Obama's first anniversary in office.
Reuters Last Mod: 24 Aralık 2009, 20:54