The U.S. Senate confirmed ambassadors to Norway and Sweden early Friday — bringing to close a drawn out political fight on the Senate floor between Sen. Amy Klobuchar and GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz.
Minnesotan Sam Heins, a lawyer and human rights advocate, is now the ambassador of Norway. The country has gone 869 days without an ambassador. For the Sweden post, the Senate confirmed Azita Raji, an Iranian born Wall Street executive living in California.
Cruz had placed a hold on the two nominations because he opposed President Obama’s nuclear deal. His office did not immediately respond for comment on Friday about why he lifted his hold, which allowed the two nominees to be confirmed by unanimous consent.
Klobuchar and Sen. Al Franken have called out the hold as an unfair poltiical maneuver that was hurting critical Scandinavian allies.
“I went to the floor every day for six days in a row to ask for consent or give a speech about it,” Klobuchar said. “I am really pleased … We once again have a Minnesotan in the embassy in Norway. History has been repeated.”
Outside of Norway, Minnesota is home to the largest Norwegian population in the world.
Source: Star Tribune
Published: December 2, 2016