WASHINGTON—The Senate Foreign Relations Committee postponed a vote on U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan-designate Matthew Bryza until after the Senate August recess, in response to a ‘hold-over’ request by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), reported the Armenian National Committee of America.
The decision to delay a vote on the Bryza nomination was announced, today, by Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) during a business meeting originally scheduled to consider this matter. More than 30 other ambassadorial nominations were approved by unanimous consent.
“The hold-over requested today by Senator Boxer provides needed additional time for a closer look into a flawed nomination,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
Politico.com, which has been covering the Bryza nomination issue since May of last year, broke the story of the one-month delay earlier today, noting “Senate Foreign Relations Committee aide Frederick Jones told Politico’s Laura Rozen today that ‘there has been a request to hold over nominee Matt Bryza, so the Committee will not consider his nomination until after recess.'” Rozen, in her blog, “On Foreign Policy,” reported that: “Hill sources say Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) had expressed concerns about the nomination.”
During the July 22 confirmation hearing before the Foreign Relations Committee Bryza gave evasive and incomplete answers to a series of probing questions posed by Senators Boxer and Menendez, and an inquiry about potential conflict of interest issues by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who served as chairwoman of the hearing. Bryza’s responses to written questions submitted by Senators Boxer, Menendez, Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Chairman Kerry were also largely non-responsive. In a move signaling the careful Senate scrutiny of the Bryza nomination, the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), personally wrote a letter to the State Department raising direct questions about the Bryza nomination.
The responses to Senators Boxer and Menendez are posted, in full, on the ANCA website: www.anca.org
The ANCA, on July 12th, shared with Senators a detailed 9-page review of the shortcomings of the Bryza nomination. This document is available at: