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Latino Members of Congress Send a Letter to Marco Rubio Urging Him to Stop Blocking Confirmation of U.S. Ambassador to Mexico

December 11, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today 19 Latino Members of Congress sent a letter to Sen. Marco Rubio urging him to stop blocking confirmation of Assistant Secretary of State for Western Affairs Roberta Jacobson, President Barack Obama’s nominee for Ambassador to Mexico.

The United States has been without an Ambassador to Mexico since July, following the retirement of Tony Wayne. This lapse in leadership at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City comes at a time when the importance of the security and economic partnership between our two countries has never been greater.

The Members wrote, “[Y]our decision to block Assistant Secretary Jacobson’s nomination for reasons that have nothing to do with her qualifications or even the Administration’s policies vis-à-vis Mexico will only serve to undermine a relationship that you claim to value.”

The full text of the letter can be found here.

Signers: Linda T. Sánchez, Ruben Gallego, Xavier Becerra, Tony Cárdenas, Joaquin Castro, Jim Costa, Henry Cuellar, Ruben Hinojosa, Ben Ray Luján, Raul M. Grijalva, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Grace Napolitano, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, Loretta Sanchez, Jose Serrano, Norma Torres, Juan Vargas, Nydia Velázquez.

House Democratic Chairman Xavier Becerra (D-CA) said, “Roberta Jacobson deserves a vote; she earned it. The hold placed on her nomination is not about her qualifications, or whether there’s someone who is better. To deny a vote on Roberta Jacobson’s nomination is undemocratic.” | Contact: Sarah Lovenheim (202) 225-6235

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) said, “It is wholly unacceptable that the United States Senator with the worst attendance record this year would obstruct the appointment of Roberta Jacobson to be the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. With more than 33.7 million Hispanics of Mexican origin residing in the United States – including 22.3 million born in the U.S. – Mexico is one of our most important regional and economic partners, and maintaining our close relationship is crucial to our long-term success. While I understand Sen. Rubio has his own political ambitions to serve, there is absolutely no justification for holding up the nomination of a qualified woman as Ambassador to Mexico. It’s time for Sen. Rubio to get out of the way and allow Roberta Jacobson’s nomination to be considered by the full United States Senate before the end of the year.” | Contact: Alex Nguyen (202) 225-6676

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) said, “Sen. Rubio has made it clear that his reasons for blocking Ms. Jacobson’s confirmation are purely political. At a time when our nation faces security threats abroad, it is more important than ever to make sure our security partnership with our neighboring countries remains strong. Rubio is putting our nation’s security and our economic ties with Mexico at risk, and it’s time he put his grudges aside and did what was best for this country.” | Contact: Christina Carr (202) 236-2268

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) said, “Trade with Mexico comprises nearly 15 percent of our total trade every year, and working with them as an ally helps define our security as a nation. It is absolutely essential that our nation have a voice in Mexico City to speak for our people, to liaise with the Mexican government and to show that we respect and honor our relationship with our neighbor to the south. To play partisan politics, with our representative to a country whose future is so closely tied to our own, is entirely unacceptable.” | Contact: Paul Kincaid (202) 225-6131