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Advancement of Biden's Nominee for US Ambassador to Israel Clears Committee Hurdle

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"Senate Committee Advances Jack Lew's Nomination for US Ambassador to Israel Despite Republican Opposition"

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12-9 to push forward the nomination of Jack Lew as the US ambassador to Israel. The decision, occurring along party lines with a notable exception in Republican Sen. Rand Paul, faced resistance from Republicans due to Lew's involvement in the Iran nuclear deal during his tenure in the Obama administration. Committee Chairman Ben Cardin expressed hopes for a swift move to a full Senate floor vote, with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer potentially filing cloture as early as Thursday.

Despite the divided committee vote, discussions are underway about potential broader Republican support for Lew in the upcoming floor vote. Cardin emphasized ongoing support for Israel in its struggle against Hamas, highlighting that the division in the committee does not necessarily reflect diminished overall backing.

During Lew's confirmation hearing last week, he defended his record on the Iran nuclear deal, stressing his view of dealing with an "evil, malign government." Republicans, particularly Sen. Jim Risch, raised concerns about Lew's role in lifting sanctions as part of the 2015 nuclear deal and questioned the Biden administration's ability to prevent Iran from using returned funds for malicious activities.

Risch, who voted against Lew, articulated reservations about Lew's credibility, accusing him of misleading Congress and assisting Iran in accessing the US financial system. Jack Lew played a significant role in the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, a move opposed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The deal, from which former President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018, aligning with Israel's stance.

In conclusion, the advancement of Jack Lew's nomination for the position of US Ambassador to Israel, despite facing Republican opposition, underscores the political intricacies surrounding his association with the Iran nuclear deal. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee's 12-9 vote, with a notable break from the party line by Senator Rand Paul, signifies a divide over Lew's past involvement in the Obama administration's dealings with Iran.

Committee Chairman Ben Cardin's hope for a prompt move to a full Senate floor vote and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's potential cloture filing signal the Democrats' determination to see Lew's nomination through. The ongoing discussions about potential broader Republican support in the floor vote further highlight the complexity of the political landscape.

Lew's confirmation hearing revealed heightened scrutiny from Republicans, particularly Sen. Jim Risch, who voiced concerns about Lew's role in lifting sanctions and questioned the Biden administration's approach to preventing Iran from engaging in harmful activities with the returned funds. The lingering doubts about Lew's credibility, articulated by Risch, add an additional layer of contention.

Ultimately, the confirmation process reflects not only the partisan dynamics surrounding foreign policy decisions but also the broader geopolitical context, with Israel's stance against the Iranian nuclear deal playing a significant role. As the nomination advances, it will be interesting to observe how these dynamics evolve and whether broader support materializes for Jack Lew's appointment as the US Ambassador to Israel.

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