TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback likely will get a vote on his federal confirmation by the end of the week because of a coming procedural vote announced Tuesday by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office.
David Popp, a spokesman for McConnell, said in an email the Senate would move forward today on Brownback’s stalled confirmation.
Senators were expected to take a vote on a procedure known as cloture Friday, but Popp announced the vote would come Wednesday. McConnell filed for cloture on Brownback’s nomination Monday, limiting the debate on his nomination and expediting his confirmation vote.
If senators proceed, they will be limited to 30 hours of debate on the nomination, meaning Brownback likely will get a confirmation vote by the end of the week.
Brownback thanked McConnell and U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, Kansas Republicans, for their work on his confirmation in a tweet Monday. He has been waiting for confirmation since July when his nomination for ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom was announced, and he has said repeatedly he will resign upon confirmation.
If confirmed, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer would succeed Brownback while he seeks the Republican nomination to run for governor in 2018. Brownback’s delayed confirmation vote has created an awkward situation in Kansas. He began handing off key gubernatorial responsibilities, like budget development and appointment of agency heads, to Colyer only to remain in Kansas for the start of the 2018 legislative session.