WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Governor Sam Brownback (R-KS) is in Washington pleading his case for a new job. President Donald Trump nominated Brownback to become the Ambassador-at-large for Religious Freedom, a post that would put the governor in charge of combating religious persecution worldwide. Brownback faced a Senate Committee Wednesday to answer questions about the job.
Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS) says this post is perfect for Governor Brownback.
“Look, this is a fundamental right that you have,” said Brownback.
The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs questioned the governor on his ability to combat religious persecution around the world.
“I look forward to working with people, working with you, working with everybody regardless of their ideas or views on how we can advance the agenda of religious freedom,” said Brownback.
The position calls for Brownback to keep an eye on religious issues around the world. Brownback’s fellow Kansan Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS) says he is ready for the post.
“Governor Brownback’s been a long time advocate even back when he was in the Senate in helping folks with religious issues,” said Estes.
Some have concerns over Brownback’s nomination. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) questioned Brownback on his LGBTQ equality record, specifically Brownback’s executive order to do away with non-discrimination protections for state employees.
“Do you feel like you have high standards in the people you appoint?” said Kaine.
“Yes,” said Brownback.
“Wouldn’t it be appropriate in terms of setting a standard for your cabinet secretaries and agency heads for you to say to them, ‘I don’t think you should discriminate against people on the grounds of their sexual orientation?’” said Kaine.
“I think that would be a rational thing,” said Brownback.
Kaine also asked if Brownback found it acceptable for nations to support murdering or criminalizing members of the LGBTQ community in the name of religion.
“I would continue the policies that had been done in the prior administration in working on these international issues,” said Brownback.
Gary Nordlinger, a professor at George Washington University say it should be no surprise a President Trump candidate would act conservatively on the international stage.
“It has given every sign since the day of the election of being a conservative administration and conservatives want religious tolerance,” said Nordlinger.
The timeline for Brownback’s confirmation is uncertain.