Senator Chuck Grassley expects the U.S. Senate to confirm Governor Terry Branstad’s nomination to be U.S. ambassador to China early next week. Grassley, though, says Democrats are likely to deny Republicans the quickest route to a confirmation vote.
“Some Democrats object, maybe not against Branstad, but just the normal obstruction that’s going on our here that you’ve seen,” Grassley says.
It means at least 51 senators will have to agree — probably Monday — and vote to schedule a confirmation vote on Branstad as early as Tuesday. Despite the partisan squabbling over the timing, Grassley expects Branstad to easily win the support of most senators.
“By next week, he’ll be ambassador to China as far as I can tell,” Grassley says.
That means Branstad likely will pass the reigns of state government to Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds before Memorial Day weekend.
“Once I’m confirmed as ambassador, I would intend to resign shortly thereafter,” Branstad told reporters earlier this week. “It would be a matter of days.”
Branstad expects he and his family will get to China sometime in June. He and his wife have to go through a three-week training course for new ambassadors before they leave. Branstad still has official state work on his desk. The governor signed 37 bills into law Thursday and he has indicated his plan is to take action on the dozen or so bills that remain sometime today.