Biden carries the worst record for the number of confirmed appointees in recent history and has not seen a single ambassador instated eight months into his presidency.There is growing concern that the president is trailing behind Donald Trump in the number of appointees confirmed and is nearly 200 appointees behind Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Politico first reported.
While the administration has been slow to see appointees pushed through the upper chamber, Biden has also submitted more nominees for consideration to the Senate than his predecessor since taking office, a White House spokesperson told Fox News.
Just 124 of Biden’s 405 nominees have been confirmed through the Senate, and just 8 of the 88 State Department nominees have been appointed.
None of the more than 60 ambassador-nominees have received Senate confirmation.
In comparison, 126 of Trump’s 308 nominees had been appointed by August of his first term. The Obama administration confirmed 243 out 430 nominees and Bush saw 291 of 448 individuals appointed by this point.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office pointed to Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz as the contributing factor in the lack of filled ambassadorships.
“Senator Cruz has a hold on all state department [nominees],” a spokesperson for Schumer told Fox News.
Cruz, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, blocked dozens of nominees from the confirmation process in protest of Biden’s sanction reversal on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline last month.
The Texas senator did not confirm for how long he intends to block State Department nominees, but a spokesperson for his office told Fox News, “Sen. Cruz will use all leverage and prerogatives he has as a U.S. Senator to get the Biden administration to follow the law and implement Congressional mandates to sanction and stop completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
“That includes holding State Department nominations that the Biden administration and Senate Democrats have advanced to the confirmation stage.”
The White House said Cruz’s move has jeopardized the security of the U.S. by “undermining the State Department.”
“Many of these nominees have nothing to do with his stated concerns,” a White House spokesperson said.
The White House told Fox News it is “engaging” with both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to push the president’s nominees forward.