The Senate has confirmed Thomas R. Nides of Minnesota to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to Israel, early on Thursday, by a voice vote in the Senate, which is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.
Nides is the managing director and vice-chairman of Morgan Stanley. He previously served as deputy secretary of state for management and resources under Hillary Clinton from 2011 to 2013.
Nides nomination was among dozens of State Department positions that GOP senators were blocking from a swift confirmation through holds. Without the holds, the nominees can be confirmed through a voice vote, a process taking only minutes that can be used so long as no senator objects. Democrats renewed their effort to bring his nomination up for a vote Wednesday night, one day after another such effort had failed.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Gilad Erdan, his counterpart, congratulated Nides on Twitter. "I'm sure that you will further strengthen the special bond between Israel & the U.S."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Nides “cares very much about strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship, so this will be a good day for that relationship.”
"I'm glad the Republican hold on Mr. Nides has been lifted," Schumer said. "I've known him for many years. He's just the right fit."
Nides launched his Washington career in 1986 working for Rep. Tony Coelho, the Democratic majority whip. He also worked for Democratic House Speaker Tom Foley early in his career. During the Clinton administration, he served as chief of staff to United States Trade Representative Mickey Kantor. Barack Obama nominated him in 2010 to serve as deputy secretary of state for management and resources.