'She has already made Kentucky and the nation proud through significant public service, including as an alternate delegate to the United Nations and most recently as Ambassador to Canada. In each of those cases this impressive nominee earned an unopposed confirmation. And in each case she repaid the Senate's confidence by skillfully and effectively advocating for the interests of the United States on the international stage.'
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the need to confirm more of the president's well-qualified nominees including Ambassador Kelly Craft, the president's nominee for Ambassador to the United Nations (UN):
"Yesterday the Senate took a number of steps forward on our considerable 'to-do list' for this week. We confirmed four well-qualified jurists who are now our country's newest district judges and voted to advance the nominations of 10 more. Ten. That's what you call big progress for the federal judiciary. Today we're going to continue moving these nominations forward. For too long, thoroughly uncontroversial judicial nominees just like these have been held up and delayed by our Democratic colleagues -- even when the vacancy qualifies as a judicial emergency.
"Uncontroversial district judges used to be confirmed promptly, in big groups, by voice vote. These days, in a kind of protest theater, our colleagues across the aisle usually insist that we hold a cloture vote and then a roll call confirmation vote for each. But we're getting the president's impressive nominees on the job, one way or another. And we'll continue doing just that. But our work doesn't stop there. The administration remains in need of its full complement of leaders at the Pentagon and in the diplomatic corps.
"So last night, we voted to confirm David Norquist, the president's pick to serve as number-two at the Pentagon under our new Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. We also voted to advance the nomination of Ambassador Kelly Craft, a very impressive individual, to serve in the critical role of UN ambassador. Ms. Craft is a fellow product of the Bluegrass. She has already made Kentucky and the nation proud through significant public service, including as an alternate delegate to the United Nations and most recently as Ambassador to Canada.
"In each of those cases this impressive nominee earned an unopposed confirmation. And in each case she repaid the Senate's confidence by skillfully and effectively advocating for the interests of the United States on the international stage. During her tenure as Ambassador to Canada, America's relationship with our northern neighbor was tested. A number of challenging policy hurdles threatened to trip up progress on several important issues including trade negotiations. But by all accounts, Ambassador Craft's involvement led to greater cooperation.
"She worked on finalizing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, encouraged cross-border participation in joint sanctions efforts, and helped more Americans do business in Canada. And as she stands for this new role, she brings the ringing endorsements of peers and counterparts she engaged along the way. Quote: 'She's done the job very well.' Quote: 'Every premier I know thinks the world of her... She really proved herself over some tough times.'
"That's from the Premier of Ontario and a former Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Our partners to the north have a healthy respect for the hard work and qualifications of Ambassador Kelly Craft. And so does the Senate. Last week, even in this contentious moment, a wide bipartisan majority of our colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee voted to recommend her nomination to be UN ambassador favorably here to the floor. And before we adjourn this week we will confirm her."