EXCLUSIVE: Senators want Aponte vote delayed

Mike Riggs Contributor
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Gautham Nagesh has wrangled two letters to Sen. John Kerry’s office, both asking that the committee hearing for the appointment of Mari Carmen Aponte as Ambassador to El Salvador be delayed (likely because, as Nagesh reported Saturday, Aponte was romantically involved with a man who was an alleged Cuban Intelligence asset). In a letter to Kerry, Senators Jim DeMint, Johnny Isakson, James Inhofe, Bob Corker, John Barrasso, Jim Risch, and Roger Wicker wrote:

As part of our Constitutional obligation of advice and consent, we write to request additional time to review the nomination of Ms. Mari Carmen Aponte before the Committee holds a formal hearing on her pending nomination to be the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador.

Some committee members have not received all of the information that has been requested to fully vet his nomination. Therefore, we respectfully request that the hearing on Ms. Apotne’s confirmation be held until after the April recess, in order to allow sufficient time for commmittee member to receive and review additional information relevant to her nomination.

Sen. Dick Lugar also wrote a letter to Kerry in support of DeMint’s request:

Senator DeMint has approached me about the nomination of Mari Carmen Aponte to be Ambassador to El Salvador. A hearing on her nomination is currently scheduled for MArch 17. Senator DeMint is reviewing materials related to Ms. Aponte’s nomination and wishes to complete that review prior to her hearing. To allow him time to complete his review, he has asked that Ms. Aponte’s hearing be postponed until the week the Senate returns from the Easter recess.

I believe Senator DeMint’s request for some additional time is reasonable, particularly given that Ms. Aponte’s 1998 nomination to be Ambassador to the Dominican Republic was withdrawn before this Committee acted on it. Thank you for your consideration of his request.