How Did Kerry Try To Thwart DeMint’s Honduras Trip — And How Did DeMint Foil Him?

Posted on October 3, 2009. Filed under: America | Tags: , , , , , , |

So what exactly is the deal with Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-SC) trip to Honduras — which is being done in an effort to support the recent military coup, contrary to current U.S. foreign policy — and the failed effort by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) to stop it?

Frederick Jones, communications director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a Kerry spokesman, explained the distinction to us: Kerry was not blocking DeMint from going to Honduras — any American can legally travel there — but the issue was over government funding and plane travel for an official fact-finding mission. “Clearly, as an American citizen, Sen. DeMint is free to travel to Honduras commercially.”

Kerry, as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, blocked DeMint’s funding because DeMint has been holding up key nominations for foreign policy officials in Latin America — thus obstructing the committee’s business and the U.S. government overall in working on the region. In response, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stepped in and obtained the funding for DeMint from another source, which has not yet been identified.

Calls to the DeMint and McConnell offices were not returned. Jones’ statement, firing back at DeMint for blocking the nominations, is available after the jump.

Read more at TPM

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Kerry blocks DeMint trip to Honduras

Posted on October 2, 2009. Filed under: Honduras | Tags: , , , , , |

By Jordan Fabian

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has blocked Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) trip to Honduras slated to begin Friday, according to DeMint’s office.

But the chairman’s office claimed that the DeMint trip was stopped because the South Carolina Republican is blocking two of President Barack Obama’s nominations: Auturo Valenzuela, Obama’s nominee to be assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Tom Shannon, the current assistant secretary and nominee to be ambassador to Brazil.

DeMint’s office informed The Hill of Kerry’s decision Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday morning, the freshman Republican announced that he would lead a congressional delegation to Honduras on Friday ahead of the country’s Nov. 29 elections. The U.S. State Department, which acknowledges ousted President Manuel Zelaya as the legitimate ruler of the Central American nation, has said it will not recognize the contests because of ongoing political turmoil.

“No U.S. Senator has yet been to Honduras to assess facts of crisis. [Kerry] & Obama admin using bullying tactics to hide truth,” DeMint, who also sits on the Foreign Relations panel, said on Twitter after he heard the trip would not occur.

Read More – The Hill

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