Washington, D.C.–Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued the following statement after the Senate confirmed Mari Carmen Aponte as U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador by voice vote.
“I am pleased that the Senate confirmed Mari Carmen Aponte to be Ambassador to El Salvador. Ambassador Aponte was an exemplary nominee of whom all Americans can feel proud, and I am glad she has been given the opportunity to continue to serve her nation as an excellent ambassador.
“During her recess appointment, Ambassador Aponte was an outspoken advocate for American values and democracy, and a staunch supporter of U.S. private enterprise. She persuaded the government of El Salvador to deploy troops to Afghanistan. El Salvador is the first and only Latin American country to send military forces to join our NATO deployment. And she reached an agreement with the Salvadorian government to open a new, jointly-funded electronic monitoring center to fight transnational crime. She has already proved her strengths and qualifications on the job.
“Ambassador Aponte had the support of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Countless local and national Latino organizations around the country worked tirelessly over the past several months to get her confirmed. President Obama supported her, and to his credit the Obama Administration did much of the heavy lifting to get her confirmed. White House staff worked diligently for the past month to round up every vote possible. Secretary Clinton personally called Senators this week to advocate for Ms. Aponte’s nomination. I also commend Senator Menendez for his leadership on this issue.
“It was high time the United States had a Senate-confirmed ambassador in El Salvador. I am pleased that a few, reasonable Senate Republicans dropped their unwarranted opposition, and helped us confirm a well-qualified nominee today.”