We hear Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) may schedule a vote as early as this week. Aponte’s nomination fell through the last time the Senate voted on it late last year, when supporters didn’t have enough votes to overcome a Republican filibuster.
Another attempt at approving the nomination could throw Sen. Marco Rubio back into the spotlight.The Florida Republican initially voted against breaking the filibuster--but later agreed to back Aponte and to round up the Republican votes needed to clear her nomination. Talks between Rubio and Democrats ended in bitter recriminations on both sides...but no vote.
We hear that Rubio is expected to vote for Aponte this time, but he won’t be whipping votes among colleagues again.I wrote about Aponte's failed nomination on Al Jazeera in January. I can't say that I've heard that she has cleared up any of the problems that Senate Republicans had with her nominations in 2010 and 2011.
She hasn't apologized or taken back what she wrote about the treatment of homosexuals in a Salvadoran daily (nor should she). It's not clear that she or the administration have done any more to clear up the facts surrounding her romantic relationship with a Cuban spy. And derailing her nomination remains one of the Senate Republican's few tools with which to influence US foreign policy towards El Salvador and Latin America.
The one thing that Aponte might now have going for her is the 2012 presidential election. Republicans might have second thoughts about blocking a popular and successful Puerto Rican woman at a time when some in the party are worried about the electoral consequences of alienating Latinos on yet another issue.