Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding continuing to confirm more of President Biden’s qualified nominees, including Amy Gutmann as U.S. Ambassador to Germany. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Today, the Senate will continue focusing on our responsibility to confirm more of President Biden’s nominees.
By the end of today, we expect to finish the confirmation of four more nominees, including Amy Gutmann to serve in the pivotal role as U.S. Ambassador to Germany.
For the information of all Senators, there is a strong likelihood that a significant number of additional votes will be held later today.
If so, we want to make sure things keep moving briskly on the floor. Just as we did last week, I ask my colleagues to cast their votes quickly, to remain in their seats or near the floor as much as possible, to be flexible in order to prevent extended delays. We did a good job of it last week, so let’s continue the pace this evening as well when we move forward on more votes.
Off the floor, it is an important day for my home state of New York when it comes to nominations.
A few moments ago, it was my honor to come before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and introduce Assemblyman Nick Perry to serve as Ambassador to Jamaica. I was also proud to introduce Randi Charno Levine to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Portugal.
It would be impossible—impossible—to find a better fit for Ambassador to Jamaica than my friend Nick Perry, whom I urged the Biden Administration to select for the post.
Assemblyman Perry represents so much of what is good and promising about America: he is an immigrant, he is an Army Veteran, he is a graduate of Brooklyn College, and one of New York’s leading voices fighting for working families. He’s a very, very familiar face in Brooklyn, because he likes to do politics the old fashioned way: shake hands, show up as much as possible, and just listen to people’s stories.
When confirmed, Assemblyman Perry would make history as the first ever native born Jamaican to serve as U.S. Ambassador. It is a truly an important milestone and one that is long overdue and it makes Brooklyn particularly proud.
When I go through Brooklyn, I sometimes ask my constituents – particularly at the West Indian Day parade – what is the largest island in the Caribbean? I tell them it's a trick question. Some people say Cuba, some say Haiti, some say Barbados.
I say no, Brooklyn is the largest island in the Caribbean because we have more Caribbean immigrants than just about anywhere else! And that is why Brooklyn, particularly, is so proud that Nick is going to become Ambassador to Jamaica. Not only is he Jamaican born, but he is a Brooklynite through and through.
From Patrick Ewing to K-R-S One; from Vice President Kamala Harris to Congresswoman Yvette Clarke to the late General Powell, Jamaican-Americans hold a key place in our nation’s rich legacy. Nick Perry will continue to add to this legacy as he has for decades. So I am so proud to support him and to recommend him as a nominee for Ambassador to Jamaica.
This morning, it was also my honor to introduce Randi Levine to become only the second woman to ever serve as Ambassador to Portugal.
I’ve known Randi and her husband Jeff for over 30 years, they’ve been longtime advocates for many different communities across New York, especially our Jewish population.
As chair of the Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy here in Washington, Randi has also been one of our top leaders for promoting cultural exchange programs between students, diplomats, and business leaders.
In other words, she has already advanced—in a different context—the work that any good Ambassador must accomplish: encouraging and fostering understanding between our country and people around the world. I have every bit of confidence that Randi will represent the US with distinction as an ambassador to Portugal and she has my most enthusiastic support.
Finally, I also want to recognize and commend the nomination of Professor Deborah Lipstadt to serve as the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, a position that carries the rank of Ambassador.
Dr. Lipstadt’s leadership is desperately needed: the malicious poison of antisemitism must be confronted wherever it rears its ugly head. We’ve seen a spike of antisemitism here at home and abroad, making this position exceedingly important.
As one of the nation’s top scholars on the Holocaust and on modern day antisemitism, Dr. Lipstadt ought to be confirmed as soon as possible, and I am glad that she is receiving her confirmation hearing today.