Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Senate confirms Branstad as U.S. ambassador to China

Toast for the friendship Toast for the friendship
Lance Thomas | 23 May, 2017, 11:14

Now that Branstad is confirmed as ambassador to China, Iowa will have its first-ever female governor, when Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds takes over the office.

"Having served as the governor of Iowa for more than two decades, Branstad has developed a strong understanding of agriculture, trade, and other key national interests", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday on the Senate floor.

The 70-year-old is the longest serving governor in the U.S.at more than 22 years.

"For over 22 years, Iowans have had a man with a servant heart working tirelessly on their behalf and for a state he loves dearly", she said in the statement.

After the Senate vote, Branstad thanked Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for the nomination and the Senate for the confidence it placed in him.

He was nominated by U.S. President Donald Trump to be the next U.S. ambassador to China in December 2016.

"Branstad credits Garrett with persuading him to attend a meeting where Chuck Grassley was speaking, telling him, "'You know, those Republicans aren't as bad as your folks told you.'" And the rest, as they say, is history. Charles Grassley said he is, "pleased that (Branstad is) now been called to serve as Ambassador to China".

"I've been an active Republican ever since", Branstad said.

According to a news release, Branstad will resign as governor Wednesday and immediately be sworn in as ambassador. "She's a thrower and I'm a saver, let's put it that way, but that's always been the case", he noted.

As senators where preparing to cast their votes on whether Branstad should be the next ambassador to China, Senator Joni Ernst, of Iowa, showed her support.

During a recent interview in the Des Moines Register, Reynolds declined to say whether she would follow that opinion or would appoint a new lieutenant governor anyway, saying that a full reveal would wait until Branstad had been confirmed.

Early this month during his Senate confirmation hearing, Mr Branstad said he would urge his friend Mr Xi to honour a commitment to rein in North Korea, which has sent tensions soaring with a series of missile launches and tests. We have long known and benefited from the relationship Governor Branstad has with the people of China.

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