7/30/2014 8:25 AM
Aides: Senate could confirm several ambassadors
By BRADLEY KLAPPER
WASHINGTON (AP) — A series of ambassadors could be confirmed before lawmakers adjourn this week, including a new U.S. envoy to Russia.
Action would ease a Senate backlog currently keeping more than 50 diplomatic nominees in limbo. The State Department and White House have bemoaned the delays.
Democratic and Republican aides said Wednesday that much remained uncertain as Congress deals with a congested schedule. Lawmakers leave Thursday.
Confirmation of John Tefft as ambassador to Russia would be remarkably fast given he only cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday.
The Russia and Ireland posts are considered high priorities.
Tefft would spearhead U.S. efforts to get Moscow to stop supporting Ukraine's rebels. He'd come in as U.S. sanctions on Russia intensify.
The aides weren't authorized to speak publicly on the record and demanded anonymity because no scheduling agreement has been reached.
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