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— Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) November 16, 2021
In a press release, Rubio gave his reasons for opposing the nominations of Nicholas Burns, Professor of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School, as ambassador to China, and Julissa Reynoso Pantaleón, the current chief of staff to First Lady Jill Biden, as ambassador to Spain.
Burns, according to Rubio, is “defined by the failure to understand the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party,” and has “displayed no remorse or concern about his current business relationships with nationless corporations operating in China.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Rubio was referencing “Burns working as a senior counselor at the Cohen Group for more than a decade. The global consulting firm has two offices in China, while its website touts its ‘solid record of success’ in the Chinese market.”
The Examiner also reported that Burns described as “racist” President Trump’s use of the terms “Chinese virus” and “Wuhan virus” in reference to COVID.
Rubio described Reynoso as “a Castro sympathizer and apologist who has absolutely no business being in our government.”
The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Burns’ nomination on Nov. 3, and Reuters reported that he was “expected to easily win confirmation” from the full Senate.
According to The Hill, there are “more than 50 State Department nominees currently awaiting a Senate floor vote.”
Many of them are being held up by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tx., according to the Texas Tribune, “in retaliation for a Biden decision to drop U.S. opposition to a Russian pipeline to Germany.”