WASHINGTON — The bruising battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court has caused many to question whether the Senate can agree on much of anything anymore.
But lawmakers on Tuesday seemed to be in general agreement that Nikki Haley, the outgoing ambassador to the U.N., has done a solid job of representing U.S. interests.
“She did speak very forcefully about U.S. positions and certainly defended Israel from isolation. So I was proud of her talent, the way it was used in New York,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said in an interview with WTOP.
Republican leaders also praised Haley.
“Our nation has benefited greatly from the tough, skilled leadership that Nikki Haley brought to the U.N.,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, who like Haley is a Republican from South Carolina, tweeted about his pride in the work she’s done.
Ambassador @NikkiHaley has done an outstanding job as United States Ambassador to the United Nations and showed a level of effectiveness rarely seen by someone in this position.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 9, 2018
Cardin, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had a major role in handling Haley’s confirmation. Unlike the narrow 50-48 margin on which the Senate approved Kavanaugh for the high court, Haley was approved on a nearly unanimous 96-4 vote after being nominated by President Trump.
“I think if you look at many of the nominees that have been approved by strong bipartisan support in the Senate, you see that Democrats and Republicans do work together,” Cardin said.
While that’s easy to forget in the wake of the epic Supreme Court confirmation fight, Cardin and other lawmakers have pointed to some areas of agreement. Among them is the sweeping piece of legislation, passed last week, that addresses the nation’s opioid crisis.
Cardin acknowledged there have been times during Haley’s tenure at the U.N. when he strongly disagreed with the Trump administration’s policies, but he felt she performed well in standing up for American interests.
“The Senate will continue to consider bills. … Democrats and Republicans will work together as I have throughout my career,” Cardin said.
But he also added “damage that was done” during the Kavanaugh ordeal will have “some lasting impact in the United States Senate.”
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