Now, he’s holding the nomination of Kurt Campbell to replace Chris Hill as Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Recently, Brownback has used the power of the nomination hold to become the congressional oversight over State’s spectacularly unsuccessful North Korea policy that no one on the Foreign Relations Committee is willing to be. He’s brought a degree of public scrutiny to some of State’s dumbest decisions, and has managed to slow down — but not stop — the steamroller that was trying to give North Korea every conceivable concession, even as North Korea reneged on all of its commitments.
Senator Brownback is working with colleagues in the Senate on a very strong North Korea sanctions bill. To the extent my views matter here, the price of lifting the hold on Campbell ought to be forcing Harry Reid and John Kerry to give Brownback’s bill get a vote in the full Senate.