A shortage of ambassadors hampers Biden’s foreign policy as candidates struggle

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Senators Josh Hawley, left, and Ted Cruz used obstructive tactics to block the confirmation process of Biden’s candidates. Credit: Andrew Harnik / AP

Biden named 78 ambassadors, but only seven have been confirmed as two Republican senators play ball.

Joe Biden wants to hold out on Monday a high-risk virtual summit with the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, his latest initiative to restore US authority on the world stage. But the president’s efforts are hampered by a traffic jam in Washington that threatens to paralyze American diplomacy.

Biden had made 78 ambassadorial appointments as of November 5, according to the White House, but only seven of them – or 9 percent – had been confirmed by the Senate. Former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump they had 77% and 70% respectively of their appointed ambassadors confirmed at this stage.

Inertia has left assignments in vital world capitals vacancies – Biden has yet to appoint an ambassador to the UK – and America faces a complex foreign policy […]

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