Republican Senator Josh Hawley on Tuesday blocked an attempt to approve Tom Nides, US President Joe Biden's nominee for US ambassador to Israel, after an attempt to confirm him by unanimous consent, Haaretz reports.
According to the report, the Missouri senator said he objected on behalf of his Republican colleagues to Nides, along with seven other nominees, pushed by Senator Robert Menendez.
Hawley did not specify what the objections were to Nides prior to his objection, but because of the move, Democratic leadership will now have to go through the process of scheduling a vote, informing members, holding floor debates and other steps prior to a formal vote on Nides.
"So we will have no ambassador in Israel, as we deal with the challenges of Iran and others in the region. It is mind-boggling, all of those who get up here and talk about our ally the State of Israel, but we won't have an ambassador there to help us meet the challenges that Israel faces," Menendez said following Hawley's objection.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmed Nides to be the next US Ambassador to Israel late last month.
The nomination still requires the confirmation of the full Senate.
Biden nominated Nides for the post in June. Nide served as the State Department’s Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources from 2010-2013 and is the current vice-chairman of the Morgan Stanley investment banking company. He has close ties with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
In the Obama White House, Nides was reportedly viewed as a pro-Israel voice and someone the Israelis often went to when challenges arose.