August 3, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee postponed a vote on U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan-designate Matthew Bryza until after the Senate August recess, in response to a ‘hold-over’ request by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The decision to delay a vote on the Bryza nomination was announced, today, by Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) during a business meeting originally scheduled to consider this matter. More than 30 other ambassadorial nominations were approved by unanimous consent.

“The hold-over requested today by Senator Boxer provides needed additional time for a closer look into a flawed nomination,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian., which has been covering the Bryza nomination issue since May of last year, broke the story of the one-month delay earlier today, noting “Senate Foreign Relations Committee aide Frederick Jones told Politico’s Laura Rozen today that ‘there has been a request to hold over nominee Matt Bryza, so the Committee will not consider his nomination until after recess.'” Rozen, in her blog, “On Foreign Policy,” reported that: “Hill sources say Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) had expressed concerns about the nomination.”

Matthew Bryza’s July 22nd confirmation hearing before the Foreign Relations Committee was characterized by evasive and incomplete answers to a series of probing questions posed by Senators Boxer and Menendez, and an inquiry about potential conflict of interest issues by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who served as chairwoman of the hearing. Bryza’s responses to written questions submitted by Senators Boxer, Menendez, Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Chairman Kerry were also largely non-responsive. In a move signaling the careful Senate scrutiny of the Bryza nomination, the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), personally wrote a letter to the State Department raising direct questions about the Bryza nomination.

The responses to Senators Boxer and Menendez are posted, in full, on the ANCA website
The ANCA, on July 12th, shared with Senators a detailed 9-page review of the shortcomings of the Bryza nomination. Click here to read this document.


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918 / (703) 585-8254 cell
Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 *
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