A U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday unanimously voted to approve the nomination of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett as the next U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg.
The next hurdle will be a vote in the full U.S. Senate.
If confirmed, Barrett would resign as mayor and Common Council President Cavalier Johnson would become Acting Mayor, until a special election is held.
Mayor Barrett said he continues to be committed to Milwaukee until his final moment in office.
“This morning, I had the honor and privilege to have received approval from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg," Mayor Barrett said in a statement Wednesday. "As we now wait for the nomination to be taken up by the full Senate, I look forward to the opportunity to serve our country abroad. My hope is there is no further delay in the process and our city can begin its own process to fill the office of Mayor, without incurring unnecessary costs at the expense of taxpayers. I remain committed to every Milwaukee resident in my duties as Mayor until the final moment in the office.”
Mayor Barrett testified before the committee last month.
Barrett first became Mayor of Milwaukee in 2004, when he defeated incumbent Mayor Marvin Pratt. He was re-elected in 2008, 2012, 2016, and most recently in 2020.
He also was a candidate for Governor of Wisconsin twice - in 2010 and in 2012, for Gov. Scott Walker's recall election. Barrett lost both statewide races.
Earlier in his political career, Barrett served in the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing the 14th Assembly District. In 1989, he won an election to the Wisconsin State Senate. Four years later in 1993, Barrett was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Wisconsin's 5th Congressional district.
Luxembourg is a Western European nation that lies between France and Germany. It is slightly smaller than the state of Rhode Island and about half the size of Delaware, according to the CIA World Factbook. 640,000 'Luxembourgers' call the country home. Milwaukee's population in 2019 was 594,548.
Luxembourg is the second richest country in the world, has the highest minimum wage in the European Union and nearly half of the workforce commutes in to work from another country.