Earlier this week, Texas senator Ted Cruz pledged to block State Department nominees until the federal agency filled the vacant inspector general position. Almost two days later, the State Department nominated Steve Linick for the position, which has been vacant for nearly 2,000 days.
"The President's failure to nominate a State Department Inspector General since taking office in 2009 is unacceptable. The position has been vacant for almost 2,000 days. This is a crucial oversight position and should be a priority for an agency facing substantial management challenges," Cruz said in a statement released Wednesday.
"Until the President acts, I have notified Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that I will place a hold on all State Department nominations."
On Thursday night, the White House announced, "Steve A. Linick, of Virginia, to be Inspector General, Department of State, vice Howard J. Krongard, resigned."
The White House's description of the nominee reads, "Steve A. Linick is the Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, a position he has held since October 2010. From 2006 to 2010, he worked at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as the Executive Director of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force. In addition, from 2009 to 2010, he was Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section in the DOJ Criminal Division, having served as Acting Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section from 2006 to 2009. He previously worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia from 1999 to 2006, serving as the Deputy Chief of the Fraud Unit from 2004 to 2006. He also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central District of California from 1994 to 1999. Earlier in his career, Mr. Linick served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and as an associate at the law firm Newman & Holtzinger in Washington, D.C. He received a B.A. and M.A. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center."
In a statement, Cruz claimed victory for pushing the Obama administration to fill the position.
"Three days ago, I wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell notifying my intent to hold all diplomatic nominations until a State Department Inspector General is nominated by the President. This crucial oversight position has been vacant for nearly five years, during which time there have been deadly attacks on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Libya, mismanagement of security contractors at our embassy in Afghanistan, and hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars wasted for police training in Iraq," Cruz's statement reads.
"Yesterday, the White House finally nominated Mr. Steve Linick to fill this role at the State Department. That the President has finally announced a nomination - after allowing this vital post to remain unfilled for nearly 2000 days - is welcome news to all who value good governance and accountability within our federal agencies. Regardless of what brought about the announcement, it is a concrete step in the right direction and I look forward to discussing my concerns about the State Department with Mr. Linick in the near future."