Next Kansas governor seeks to patch up legislator relations

26 January, 2018, 02:37 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Dec. 21 2010 Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is shown before taking office talking with a reporter in Topeka

In as tight a vote as you can get, the US Senate voted 50-49 to confirm Brownback's nomination as ambassador at-large for worldwide religious freedom. Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer will succeed Brownback as governor.

Audio will be available later today.

Brownback, who racked up a far-right, intensely anti-LGBT record as governor of Kansas and, before that, as a USA senator from the state, was nominated by Donald Trump to the position last year, then renominated this year, as the Senate failed to vote on his confirmation in 2017 and Democrats would not allow his nomination to roll over into the new year.

The GOP needed to call in some backup Wednesday to push two votes across the finish line, with Republican Sens.

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"He won't have to constantly guard against stepping on anybody else's toes, mainly Brownback's toes", said state Rep. Dan Hawkins, a conservative Wichita Republican.

One Democratic senator, Robert Menendez, said he believes Brownback will also focus only on protecting Christian minorities. John McCain, who's battling cancer in Arizona, and Sen.

During a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in October, Brownback refused to answer Sen.

Colyer is seeking the GOP nomination for governor in 2018 against a crowded field of candidates, which includes Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer. Voters turned on his legislative allies in 2016, and bipartisan majorities rolled back most of the cuts previous year over Brownback's veto.

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Since the Senate failed to vote to confirm him before the end of the year, the president was forced to re-nominate him in January.

"Countries don't like to be shamed for religious freedom abuses and I think Sen Sam Brownback has got the seniority to actually make a difference in this role". Colyer will be elevated to governor at a 3 p.m. swearing-in ceremony.

The Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, and the International Religious Freedom office as a whole, are responsible for "monitor [ing] religious persecution and discrimination worldwide", in addition to developing programs and executing policies that encourage freedom of religion or belief. "Religious freedom must be an integral part of our overall national security and we must use all tools available to condemn acts of religious persecution".

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