A key Senate panel today approved the nomination of Indian-American Nikki Haley as the next US Ambassador to the United Nations, clearing the way for what is expected to be an easy confirmation in the full Senate.
The South Carolina Governor’s nomination now moves to the Senate floor for a vote. If confirmed, Haley, 44, the daughter of Indian immigrants, would be the first Indian-American to serve on a Cabinet rank position in any presidential administration in the US.
Haley, who will replace Samantha Power at the UN if confirmed, has already created history by becoming the first women Indian-American Governor of a US State. After Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, she is only the second ever Indian-American to be elected as the Governor of a State.
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If confirmed as a UN ambassador, she would be replaced by Lt Gov Henry McMaster as governor and will complete her term that ends in 2018.
Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Haley is a fierce advocate for American interests. “As South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley is a proven leader. I believe she has the instinct that will help her achieve reform,” he said, supporting her nomination.
“Governor Haley appears up to the task and seems to understand this as well,” said Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as he voted to approve Haley’s nomination as the next US Ambassador to the UN. “What Governor Haley lacks in foreign policy and international affairs experience, she makes up for in capability, intelligence, and a track record of building coalitions in South Carolina,” Cardin said.
“Her nomination was surprising to many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but I have been impressed by her forthrightness on core American values, her willingness to admit what she does not know, and her commitment to seeking the facts and speaking truth to power, whether within the Trump Administration or with an intransigent Russia and China in the Security Council,” Cardin said.
Once a fierce critic of Trump, Haley was selected as the first women and first minority to serve in the Trump Administration in November. Two Democratic Senators Tom Udall of New Mexico and Chris Coons of Delaware, voted against Haley.