on the hill

Sen. Menendez: Lew confirmation hearing should be a ‘priority’

The former Treasury secretary was nominated by President Joe Biden to be ambassador to Israel earlier this week

Photo: Tobias Hase/dpa (Photo by Tobias Hase/picture alliance via Getty Images)

15 February 2020, Bavaria, Munich: Robert Menendez, US Senator, at the 56th Munich Security Conference.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-NJ) told Jewish Insider on Thursday that Jack Lew’s confirmation hearing to be U.S. ambassador to Israel should be “a priority because of the nature of the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship,” following Lew’s nomination earlier this week.

Menendez told Jewish Insider he had had a “brief” discussion on Wednesday with Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), the committee ranking member whose consent Menendez has sought before scheduling confirmation hearings for nominees.

“[Risch] agreed that it should be a priority,” Menendez said. “We did not agree on a time yet, of course — [Lew’s] file has to be ready first.”

Some Republicans on Menendez’s committee have already signaled their intentions to slow down Lew’s confirmation process.

“We’ll work at it as always,” Menendez said, when asked about whether he was confident that the committee would be able to move Lew to the Senate floor quickly. “The reality is, I always find it amazing that people are wanting to put holds before they even talk to the candidate.”

Risch did not provide comment to JI on the confirmation process.

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