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Stabenow, Peters support Hoekstra as Dutch ambassador

Melissa Nann Burke
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters on Tuesday said they support the nomination of former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland, to be ambassador to the Netherlands.

Hoekstra, who co-chaired President Donald Trump’s campaign in Michigan last year, was nominated by Trump last week.

Hoekstra is a familiar face on Capitol Hill, serving in the U.S. House from 1993 to 2011 and chairing the House Intelligence Committee.

Hoekstra’s nomination will be considered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before going to the full Senate for a vote.

“Former Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg famously said: ‘Politics stop at the water’s edge,’” said Stabenow, who defeated Hoekstra’s challenge to her re-election bid in 2012.

“While Pete and I have often been on opposite sides of issues, I know he is well-suited to serve our country in this new role as ambassador. I look forward to supporting his nomination and introducing him to my colleagues in the Senate throughout the confirmation process.”

Peters served with Hoekstra in the U.S. House and said this new post would be a “great opportunity” for Hoekstra to continue his service on foreign policy issues.

“I know that Michiganders will take pride in seeing Pete serve as our nation’s ambassador to the Netherlands, and I look forward to supporting his nomination,” Peters said.

Stabenow of Lansing and Peters of Bloomfield Township met last week with another Trump nominee from Michigan – state Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen, who was nominated May 8 for the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Republicans have criticized Stabenow and Peters of holding up Larsen's nomination. The Senate Judiciary Committee waits on a nominee’s home state senators to consent to their moving forward with hearings, and neither senator has yet consented to Larsen.

The senators said they are doing their due diligence and reviewing her record and background materials.