President Trump formally re-nominated Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom yesterday. Brownback wasn’t confirmed by the U.S. Senate before the end of 2017, and Senate Democrats refused to roll over a handful of nominations into 2018.
How long the second confirmation process will take is anyone’s guess.
Brownback is one of several individuals formally re-nominated on Jan. 8. He will give the State of the State Address tonight. The Kansas Governor tweeted yesterday that he will continue to serve as Governor until confirmed.
How soon will that be?
That’s anyone’s guess. Brownback begins the process fresh, which means he will answer questions at a second confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In October, a divided committee forwarded his nomination for approval to the full Senate on an 11-10 party-line vote. Democrats expressed concerns about Brownback’s record on LGBT rights.
He was first nominated in late July for the state department post. His confirmation hearing was on Oct. 4, two months later. After the hearing, it was another three-week wait before the Senate committee forwarded his nomination on Oct. 26. His nomination stalled in the Senate for another two months, until the clock ran out on his nomination on Dec. 31.
The authors of a series of white papers on presidential nominations, interviewed a series of former presidential political nominees. Through their interviews, they determined the length of the confirmation process for sub-cabinet nominees varies from eight to 358 days. On average, the confirmation process took three months.
If Brownback’s nomination is typical of those interviewed, the Kansas Governor will be considered for confirmation by the U.S. Senate about the time Kansas lawmakers head home from Topeka for Easter break.