Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a key Senate swing vote who faces a tough reelection battle next year, said Tuesday he will support President Biden’s nomination of Jack Lew to serve as U.S. ambassador to Israel.
Lew is running into stiff Senate Republican opposition because of his work to establish the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions during the Obama administration. Former President Trump later withdrew the United States from the deal.
Manchin, however, praised Lew on Tuesday as “an honest and straightforward person throughout his many years in public service” and noted that Lew “has agreed to support pushing to enforce and strengthen sanctions” against Iran.
“I look forward to supporting Jack’s nomination for ambassador to Israel, and it’s essential that the Senate act on his nomination quickly so he can go to Israel and get to work immediately,” Manchin said.
With Manchin’s support, Lew’s nomination is expected to win Senate confirmation. Democrats hold a 51-to-49-seat majority.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said last week that he is “committed” to getting Lew confirmed as soon as possible.
Manchin hasn’t said whether he will run for reelection in 2024 and has said he will announce his decision at the end of the year or early next year.
Source: The Hill