Senate Committee Advances Friedman Nomination
WASHINGTON – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted on Thursday to support David Friedman’s nomination for US Ambassador to Israel. The vote was mostly along party lines as Republican Senators all voted in favor of the New York attorney. Nine Democrats on the committee opposed Friedman with the sole exception of Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) who, by voting yes, gave Friedman bipartisan backing.
Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) explained at the beginning of the Thursday hearing, “Mr. Friedman is an impassioned advocate for America and for strengthening the mutually beneficial bonds between the United States and Israel. He understands the complexity of issues at stake and the necessity to support a democratic ally in an important and unstable part of the world.”
Friedman’s candidacy will proceed to a Senate floor vote at an undetermined time. Activists from Code Pink attended the packed hearing and booed when the independent minded Senator Rand Paul (R-KN) voted for Friedman.
“The last thing we need in this position is somebody who has a penchant for over the top hyperbolic and even false statements,” Senator Tim Kaine (D-VI) asserted.
After the vote, Senator Rob Portman explained his vote to Jewish Insider, “He’s the President’s pick. I tend to defer to the President, Republican and Democrat alike. He answered some of the questions I had and I thought he did a good job responding to those.”
Senator James Risch (R-ID) told Jewish Insider, “He’s the right guy for the job. Period,” while both Paul and Menendez declined JI’s request for comment.
Friedman was not personally present for the vote.