Senate votes to move ahead on El Salvador nominee

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has cleared the way for confirmation of President Barack Obama's nominee to be U.S. ambassador to El Salvador.

Six months after the nomination appeared dead, the Senate voted 62-37 on Thursday to cut off debate and approve Mari Carmen Aponte. The Washington lawyer and Hispanic activist had served as ambassador in San Salvador from September 2010 to December 2011. Obama, facing GOP opposition, had made her a recess appointee but her temporary tenure ran out at year's end.

Eight Republicans joined all the Democrats on Thursday's vote.

Majority Leader Harry Reid said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had personally lobbied senators on Aponte's behalf in the days leading up to the vote to revive her nomination.

The full Senate will vote later onon her nomination.

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