Gov. Sam Brownback will meet with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today, but the Governor’s Office isn’t releasing information about what is to be discussed in the meeting.
Brownback’s nomination for a state department post as ambassador to religious liberty is rumored to be in limbo. Trump nominated the Kansas Governor for the position back in July. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a party-line vote, approved the nomination last month.
During a confirmation hearing, Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, expressed disdain for the Kansas Governor’s decision to roll back an executive order by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. Her order offered special protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender state employees. The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy organization, sent letters to the Senate committee opposing Brownback’s nomination.
A Democratic Senate aide told the Kansas City Star Democrats intended to delay the Kansas Governor’s nomination, requiring McConnell to take additional procedural steps in order to secure Senate confirmation.
Republicans hold a two-seat majority in the U.S. Senate, so it’s unlikely Democrats will be able to stop the appointment, but they can slow it.
Brownback has turned some gubernatorial responsibilities over to Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer. Colyer is crafting the executive branch’s state budget, and the lieutenant governor announced his choice to lead the Kansas Department of Children and Families, following the departure of former Secretary Phyllis Gilmore. Today, however, Brownback announced his appointment of Richard Macias to Sedgwick County District Court Judge.