GOP senator blocks approval of US ambassadors


WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican senator has blocked the approval of President Barack Obama's nominee for ambassador to Russia and top diplomats for several other nations.

Republican Sen. Mike Enzi (EN'-zee) of Wyoming says he blocked the appointments because of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision last year to limit filibusters for most presidential nominations.

The Senate had been set to approve by voice vote the appointments of ambassadors to Russia, Turkey, Guatemala and other nations late Thursday when Enzi objected.

The nominee to be America's envoy in Russia, John Tefft, is seen as particularly important because of the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

The chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Democrat Bob Menendez of New Jersey, had tried to gain approval of several diplomats in a single vote before the Senate's August recess.

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