MILWAUKEE — A big day is ahead for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett Tuesday as he looks to prove to a Senate Committee that he has what it takes to become the next U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg.
Mayor Barrett is one step closer to securing his position as ambassador to Luxembourg. His next step is to stand before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a 9 a.m. hearing Tuesday.The hearing will give senators an opportunity to assess Barrett and see if he's qualified to take on the position.
"These are coveted positions," said Washington D.C. Political Correspondent, Joe St. George.
"A third of people who are nominated into ambassadorships have no prior experience as a career member of the foreign service. Most of his service in government has been state and local government. So this seems to be his first real opportunity to serve in a federal capacity in foreign policy," said Ryan Scoville, a law professor at Marquette University.
The Milwaukee mayor was handpicked by President Joe Biden to serve as the European country's ambassador back in August. But now, Barrett needs approval from the committee to move forward.
"To prepare, Mr. Barrett is going to need to bone up on the history of US Luxembourg relations, make sure he's familiar with the political situation in that country," said Scoville.
"You can never 100% predict the questions that are going to be thrown at him but he's going to be prepped. He's going to attempt to answer the questions, the complex questions, about Luxembourg to the best of his ability," said St. George.
Barrett could also face opposition from some Republican senators, including Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson and Senator Ted Cruz from Texas.
"Cruz has slowed down the process a bit when it comes to getting these ambassadors picked in their formal position," said St. George.
If the committee decides to vote in favor of Barrett Tuesday, his nomination will then advance to the full U.S. Senate for final approval.