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Obama’s human rights pick for State Dept. stalled in bureaucratic purgatory

- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 27, 2014

President Obama's ideal candidate for Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, has lingered in bureaucratic limbo for 250 days.

Tom Malinowski, the Director of Human Rights Watch, quit his job, prepped for the Senate confirmation process and has waited ever since, The Daily Beast reported.

The reason for the delay depends on who is asked — Democrats are blaming Republicans for using procedural roadblocks, but Republicans say that during the last round of Senate confirmations the White House bumped Mr. Malinowski so that Joseph William Westphal, the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, could be confirmed before the president's trip to the Middle East.

A White House official told the Daily Beast that "McConnell determines how many people go through every week and Reid determines who is on that list, in consultation with the White House."

"We're determined to see Tom Malinowski confirmed very soon, and we're confident his long wait is almost over. The only thing that stands in the way of his confirmation is the United States Senate," State Department Spokesman Alec Gerlach told The Daily Beast. "Secretary Kerry has personally made the case that with so many pressing human rights issues on the agenda, and strong bipartisan support for Tom, it is urgent to get him confirmed."

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