The Catholic leaders and the human rights activists blasted the Democrats for delaying the appointment of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to the State Department, as Ambassador of International Religious Freedom.
Appointed by President Trump, the Ambassador of International Religious Freedom is responsible for enacting and coordinating government policies to promote religious freedom, and to combat religious persecution across the globe. Needless to say, Christians are the most viciously persecuted global religious minority – a position only cemented by 8 years of the Obama Administration’s blatantly pro-muslim policies.
The Senate Foreign Relations had approved his nomination in late October, and his GOP supporters in Congress hoped that it would sail through the Senate by a unanimous consent. Brownback previously had served in the House and Senate, where he was widely respected for his very congenial nature, although he had often clashed with the Democrats over his strong anti-abortion stances and other socially conservative views.
Democrats cannot fully block the Brownback’s nomination as Republicans control a 52-seat majority in the Senate. However, they can still use the Senate debate rules to drag and slow down the process out for as long as possible as a way to build more opposition to the nomination.
The Dem’s obstruction strategy forces Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allocate valuable Senate debate time, at a time of year when Congress is preparing to recess for Thanksgiving.
Brownback’s leadership is especially more important right now, Catholic leaders and human rights activists argue. They say that an urgent push is highly required within the Trump administration to ensure a new State Department policy that aimed at saving Christians, Yazidis, and other Christian minority religious groups from extinction in Iraq is carried out.
“Senate Democrats are purposefully delaying confirmation of Gov. Sam Brownback,” Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, a legal adviser to the Catholic Association – a nonprofit organization that advocates for public policies which reflect the Catholic values, said to a news source. “Petty politicking has no place where fundamental human rights are at stake. It is time for the Senate to do its job and confirm the eminently qualified Brownback.”
Picciotti-Bayer has cited the Brownback’s “experience, stature and personal commitment” to the promotion of the religious freedom. She also points to his work during his time as the Senate on behalf of Christians in the Sudan, including his sponsorship of the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act. That law imposed sanctions against those who were responsible for the genocide and war crimes and supported the peace efforts.
Human rights activists also are pushing for action on the nomination.
“From Sudan to North Korea, Sam Brownback was a stalwart on behalf of religious freedom and human rights while a senator,” Nina Shea had said, Nina is an international human rights lawyer who directs the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom. “He unstintingly supported my own and many others’ efforts to help the persecuted religious believers and exploited women and children in the forgotten corners of the world. As religious genocide and cleansing reach epic proportions in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, it is unconscionable that Senate Democrats are blocking his confirmation.”