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Biden picks Caroline Kennedy and Michelle Kwan to be the ambassadors

Biden picks Caroline Kennedy and Michelle Kwan to be the ambassadors

December 17, 2021: -On Wednesday, President Joe Biden has picked two high-profile diplomatic nominations, tapping Caroline Kennedy, a former U.S. ambassador to Japan, to be his envoy to Australia and Michelle Kwan, the world-famous figure skater, to be ambassador to Belize.

The announcements were the recent chapter in the Biden administration’s ongoing effort to install American ambassadors overseas, an effort that has been halted in the Senate by two ambitious Republicans, Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri.

The rules of the Senate permit the individual senator to place an unofficial hold on the executive branch nominee. Senators have restricted judicial appointments, ambassadors, and Cabinet nominees for many years as a way to exert leverage to win concessions from leaders.

In Cruz’s case, he has blocked over 50 Biden diplomatic appointments in the hopes of forcing the White House to sanction critical players in the Russian/German gas pipeline deal known as Nord Stream 2, which will deliver gas from Russia to Western Europe.

Hawley’s demands are defined than those of Cruz. Still, he reportedly wants high-ranking members of the Biden administration losing their jobs over the chaotic way the U.S. war in Afghanistan ended in the previous summer. Hawley has made holds on several Pentagon and State Department nominees this fall, but he has explained exactly what it would take for him to lift them.

Both Hawley and Cruz lead the Republican presidential hopefuls in 2024, should former President Donald Trump decide against running for a second term.

Kennedy and Kwan are superstars in Democratic political circles.

Kennedy is the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963. A best-selling author and public speaker, Kennedy has spent much of her life improving New York City Schools. Former President Barack Obama tapped Kennedy to be his ambassador to Japan, which she served in from 2014 to 2017.

Kwan is one of the most celebrated American figure skaters of her generation, won five world championships and two Olympic medals, the final one in 2006. Kwan has built a career as a well-respected nonprofit executive and a State Department advisor on global issues.

From 2018-20, Kwan was the director of surrogates for the Biden

Australia is one of America’s closest and most trusted allies. The country plays a crucial role in Biden’s long-term strategic plan to counter China’s rising influence in the Pacific.

Belize is a longtime U.S. ally and a critical geographic partner in a region plagued by political instability, narcotics trafficking, and mass migration.

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