Despite Scandals at Voice of America, Amanda Bennett Appears Cleared for Senate Confirmation as U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) CEO – USAGM Watch

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Despite a long record of unprecedented management scandals during her tenure as Voice of America (VOA) director and VOA Charter violations caused by the partisanship and foreign propaganda influence, especially from Iran, China, Russia, and Cuba, the well-connected Amanda Bennett appears cleared for Senate confirmation as the next U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO.

USAGM Watch Commentary

The U.S. Senate voted 60 to 37 for cloture on the nomination of Amanda Bennett to head USAGM.

[Pages S4907-S4908] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

Cloture Motion

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Pursuant to rule XXII, the Chair lays before the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the clerk will state. The bill clerk read as follows:

Cloture Motion

We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination of Executive Calendar No. 1055, Amanda Bennett, of the District of Columbia, to be Chief Executive Officer of the United States Agency for Global Media. Charles E. Schumer, Richard J. Durbin, Christopher Murphy, Ben Ray Lujan, Chris Van Hollen, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Jack Reed, Jeanne Shaheen, Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, Christopher A. Coons, Tina Smith, Michael F. Bennet, Jacky Rosen, Edward J. Markey, Angus S. King, Jr.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on the nomination of Amanda Bennett, of the District of Columbia, to be Chief Executive Officer of the United States Agency for Global Media, shall be brought to a close? The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. The clerk will call the roll.

The bill clerk called the roll. Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Wisconsin (Ms. Baldwin) is necessarily absent. Mr. THUNE. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator from Idaho (Mr. Crapo) and the Senator from Idaho (Mr. Risch).

The result was announced–yeas 60, nays 37, as follows: [[Page S4908]]

[Rollcall Vote No. 344 Ex.]

YEAS–60

Barrasso
     Bennet
     Blackburn
     Blumenthal
     Blunt
     Booker
     Brown
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Cornyn
     Cortez Masto
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Hickenlooper
     Hirono
     Kaine
     Kelly
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Lujan
     Manchin
     Markey
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Ossoff
     Padilla
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Romney
     Rosen
     Rounds
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Sinema
     Smith
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warnock
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden
     Young

 

NAYS--37

     Boozman
     Braun
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cotton
     Cramer
     Cruz
     Daines
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Grassley
     Hagerty
     Hawley
     Hoeven
     Hyde-Smith
     Inhofe
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     Lummis
     Marshall
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott (FL)
     Scott (SC)
     Shelby
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Tuberville
     Wicker

                             NOT VOTING--3

     Baldwin
     Crapo
     Risch
  
The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 60, the nays are 37, and the motion is agreed to.

 

ALSO, SEE:

UPDATE: “Fantastic Leadership Team” Welcomes Amanda Bennett’s Confirmation

The Senate confirmed Amanda Bennett’s nomination today. The news of her confirmation as USAGM CEO was welcomed by key members of what Bennett called her “fantastic leadership team” when she became the Voice of America director in 2016.

From: Yolanda Lopez
Date: September 22, 2022 at 3:06:11 PM EDT
To: VOA Notices
Subject: VOA welcomes newly confirmed USAGM CEO Amanda Bennett

 

Dear Colleagues, 

I am writing to you to make sure that you are aware of the message Acting USAGM CEO, Kelu Chao, sent earlier (below) to the entire workforce.  

Earlier today former VOA Director, Amanda Bennett, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the new CEO of USAGM.  I look forward to working with her to support VOA’s mission and in the promotion of global press freedom. 

I also want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Kelu Chao on behalf of every member of the VOA team for her tremendous leadership and steadfast support of Voice of America over the last twenty months. 

Yolanda López

Acting VOA Director  

From: USAGM House Announcements
Date: Thursday, September 22, 2022 at 1:14 PM
To: All Staff
Subject: Message from the Acting CEO on the U.S. Senate Confirmation of Amanda Bennett

Dear Colleagues,


I am excited to announce that Amanda Bennett was confirmed by the U.S. Senate today to be our next Chief Executive Officer.

A two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Amanda brings to this position more than four decades of experience in domestic and international investigative reporting, business sector leadership, and federal management. Most importantly, Amanda shares a deep dedication to the highest journalistic standards, a passion for truthful, independent reporting, a commitment to enhancing the safety and security of journalists and their audiences, and an abiding nonpartisan approach to our mission at this crucial time.

This confirmation underscores just how critical it is to Congress and our stakeholders alike that USAGM provide a fact-based alternative to mis- and disinformation, combat censorship, and support freedom and democracy worldwide.

Thank you for all you do to advance our agency’s work! I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together.

I am equally elated to usher in a new chapter for this agency. I know Amanda is eager to join us as soon as the last steps of the process are complete and look forward to sharing more information regarding this transition soon.

Sincerely,

Kelu Chao 
Acting Chief Executive Officer 
U.S. Agency for Global Media

Question: On the Nomination

 (Confirmation: Amanda Bennett, of the District of Columbia, to be Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Agency for Global Media )

Vote Number:  347

Vote Date: September 22, 2022, 12:23 PM

Required For Majority:  1/2

Vote Result:  Nomination Confirmed

Nomination Number: PN1566

Nomination Description: Amanda Bennett, of the District of Columbia, to be Chief Executive Officer of the United States Agency for Global Media

Vote Counts:

YEAs60

NAYs

36

Not Voting

4

*Information compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate bill clerk under the direction of the secretary of the Senate

Vote Summary

By Senator Name

By Vote Position

By Home State

Alphabetical by Senator Name 

Baldwin (D-WI), Not Voting 
Barrasso (R-WY), Yea 
Bennet (D-CO), Yea 
Blackburn (R-TN), Yea 
Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea 
Blunt (R-MO), Yea 
Booker (D-NJ), Not Voting 
Boozman (R-AR), Nay 
Braun (R-IN), Nay 
Brown (D-OH), Yea 
Burr (R-NC), Yea 
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea 
Capito (R-WV), Nay 
Cardin (D-MD), Yea 
Carper (D-DE), Yea 
Casey (D-PA), Yea 
Cassidy (R-LA), Nay 
Collins (R-ME), Yea 
Coons (D-DE), Yea 
Cornyn (R-TX), Yea 
Cortez Masto (D-NV), Yea 
Cotton (R-AR), Nay 
Cramer (R-ND), Nay 
Crapo (R-ID), Not Voting 
Cruz (R-TX), Nay 
Daines (R-MT), Nay 
Duckworth (D-IL), Yea 
Durbin (D-IL), Yea 
Ernst (R-IA), Nay 
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea 
Fischer (R-NE), Nay 
Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea 
Graham (R-SC), Yea 
Grassley (R-IA), Nay 
Hagerty (R-TN), Nay 
Hassan (D-NH), Yea 
Hawley (R-MO), Nay 
Heinrich (D-NM), Yea 
Hickenlooper (D-CO), Yea 
Hirono (D-HI), Yea 
Hoeven (R-ND), Nay 
Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Nay 
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay 
Johnson (R-WI), Nay 
Kaine (D-VA), Yea 
Kelly (D-AZ), Yea 
Kennedy (R-LA), Nay 
King (I-ME), Yea 
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea 
Lankford (R-OK), Nay 
Leahy (D-VT), Yea 
Lee (R-UT), Not Voting 
Lujan (D-NM), Yea 
Lummis (R-WY), Nay 
Manchin (D-WV), Yea 
Markey (D-MA), Yea 
Marshall (R-KS), Nay 
McConnell (R-KY), Nay 
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea 
Merkley (D-OR), Yea 
Moran (R-KS), Nay 
Murkowski (R-AK), Nay 
Murphy (D-CT), Yea 
Murray (D-WA), Yea 
Ossoff (D-GA), Yea 
Padilla (D-CA), Yea 
Paul (R-KY), Nay 
Peters (D-MI), Yea 
Portman (R-OH), Yea 
Reed (D-RI), Yea 
Risch (R-ID), Yea 
Romney (R-UT), Yea 
Rosen (D-NV), Yea 
Rounds (R-SD), Yea 
Rubio (R-FL), Nay 
Sanders (I-VT), Yea 
Sasse (R-NE), Nay 
Schatz (D-HI), Yea 
Schumer (D-NY), Yea 
Scott (R-FL), Nay 
Scott (R-SC), Nay 
Shaheen (D-NH), Yea 
Shelby (R-AL), Nay 
Sinema (D-AZ), Yea 
Smith (D-MN), Yea 
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea 
Sullivan (R-AK), Nay 
Tester (D-MT), Yea 
Thune (R-SD), Nay 
Tillis (R-NC), Nay 
Toomey (R-PA), Nay 
Tuberville (R-AL), Nay 
Van Hollen (D-MD), Yea 
Warner (D-VA), Yea 
Warnock (D-GA), Yea 
Warren (D-MA), Yea 
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea 
Wicker (R-MS), Nay 
Wyden (D-OR), Yea 
Young (R-IN), Yea 

Vote Summary

By Senator Name

By Vote Position

By Home State

Grouped By Vote Position 

YEAs —60

Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blackburn (R-TN)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Brown (D-OH)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Duckworth (D-IL)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Graham (R-SC)
Hassan (D-NH)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Hirono (D-HI)
Kaine (D-VA)
Kelly (D-AZ)
King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Lujan (D-NM)
Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Ossoff (D-GA)
Padilla (D-CA)
Peters (D-MI)
Portman (R-OH)
Reed (D-RI)
Risch (R-ID)
Romney (R-UT)
Rosen (D-NV)
Rounds (R-SD)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Sinema (D-AZ)
Smith (D-MN)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Van Hollen (D-MD)
Warner (D-VA)
Warnock (D-GA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)
Young (R-IN)

NAYs —36

Boozman (R-AR)
Braun (R-IN)
Capito (R-WV)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Cotton (R-AR)
Cramer (R-ND)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hagerty (R-TN)
Hawley (R-MO)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kennedy (R-LA)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lummis (R-WY)
Marshall (R-KS)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Tuberville (R-AL)
Wicker (R-MS)

Not Voting – 4

Baldwin (D-WI)
Booker (D-NJ)
Crapo (R-ID)
Lee (R-UT)

Vote Summary

By Senator Name

By Vote Position

By Home State

Grouped by Home State 

Alabama:

Shelby (R-AL), Nay

Tuberville (R-AL), Nay

Alaska:

Murkowski (R-AK), Nay

Sullivan (R-AK), Nay

Arizona:

Kelly (D-AZ), Yea

Sinema (D-AZ), Yea

Arkansas:

Boozman (R-AR), Nay

Cotton (R-AR), Nay

California:

Feinstein (D-CA), Yea

Padilla (D-CA), Yea

Colorado:

Bennet (D-CO), Yea

Hickenlooper (D-CO), Yea

Connecticut:

Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea

Murphy (D-CT), Yea

Delaware:

Carper (D-DE), Yea

Coons (D-DE), Yea

Florida:

Rubio (R-FL), Nay

Scott (R-FL), Nay

Georgia:

Ossoff (D-GA), Yea

Warnock (D-GA), Yea

Hawaii:

Hirono (D-HI), Yea

Schatz (D-HI), Yea

Idaho:

Crapo (R-ID), Not Voting

Risch (R-ID), Yea

Illinois:

Duckworth (D-IL), Yea

Durbin (D-IL), Yea

Indiana:

Braun (R-IN), Nay

Young (R-IN), Yea

Iowa:

Ernst (R-IA), Nay

Grassley (R-IA), Nay

Kansas:

Marshall (R-KS), Nay

Moran (R-KS), Nay

Kentucky:

McConnell (R-KY), Nay

Paul (R-KY), Nay

Louisiana:

Cassidy (R-LA), Nay

Kennedy (R-LA), Nay

Maine:

Collins (R-ME), Yea

King (I-ME), Yea

Maryland:

Cardin (D-MD), Yea

Van Hollen (D-MD), Yea

Massachusetts:

Markey (D-MA), Yea

Warren (D-MA), Yea

Michigan:

Peters (D-MI), Yea

Stabenow (D-MI), Yea

Minnesota:

Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea

Smith (D-MN), Yea

Mississippi:

Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Nay

Wicker (R-MS), Nay

Missouri:

Blunt (R-MO), Yea

Hawley (R-MO), Nay

Montana:

Daines (R-MT), Nay

Tester (D-MT), Yea

Nebraska:

Fischer (R-NE), Nay

Sasse (R-NE), Nay

Nevada:

Cortez Masto (D-NV), Yea

Rosen (D-NV), Yea

New Hampshire:

Hassan (D-NH), Yea

Shaheen (D-NH), Yea

New Jersey:

Booker (D-NJ), Not Voting

Menendez (D-NJ), Yea

New Mexico:

Heinrich (D-NM), Yea

Lujan (D-NM), Yea

New York:

Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea

Schumer (D-NY), Yea

North Carolina:

Burr (R-NC), Yea

Tillis (R-NC), Nay

North Dakota:

Cramer (R-ND), Nay

Hoeven (R-ND), Nay

Ohio:

Brown (D-OH), Yea

Portman (R-OH), Yea

Oklahoma:

Inhofe (R-OK), Nay

Lankford (R-OK), Nay

Oregon:

Merkley (D-OR), Yea

Wyden (D-OR), Yea

Pennsylvania:

Casey (D-PA), Yea

Toomey (R-PA), Nay

Rhode Island:

Reed (D-RI), Yea

Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea

South Carolina:

Graham (R-SC), Yea

Scott (R-SC), Nay

South Dakota:

Rounds (R-SD), Yea

Thune (R-SD), Nay

Tennessee:

Blackburn (R-TN), Yea

Hagerty (R-TN), Nay

Texas:

Cornyn (R-TX), Yea

Cruz (R-TX), Nay

Utah:

Lee (R-UT), Not Voting

Romney (R-UT), Yea

Vermont:

Leahy (D-VT), Yea

Sanders (I-VT), Yea

Virginia:

Kaine (D-VA), Yea

Warner (D-VA), Yea

Washington:

Cantwell (D-WA), Yea

Murray (D-WA), Yea

West Virginia:

Capito (R-WV), Nay

Manchin (D-WV), Yea

Wisconsin:

Baldwin (D-WI), Not Voting

Johnson (R-WI), Nay

Wyoming:

Barrasso (R-WY), Yea

Lummis (R-WY), Nay

Vote Summary

By Senator Name

By Vote Position

By Home State

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