Senate to confirm ambassador to U.N. aviation agency

In the wake of the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, the Senate is expected to confirm Michael Lawson to serve as ambassador to the U.N.'s aviation body, more than 10 months after his nomination.
By Gabrielle Levy   |   July 21, 2014 at 3:45 PM

WASHINGTON, July 21 (UPI) -- The Senate is expected to confirm on Monday the long-delayed nomination of Michael Lawson to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations' aviation regulatory and investigative body.

The International Civil Aviation Organization, which establishes international regulations for commercial and civil flight, investigated a 1983 incident in which a Korean Air Lines flight was shot down by the Soviet Union. The Ukrainian foreign minister has called for its involvement in the investigation of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that was shot down, allegedly by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, last Thursday.

President Obama originally nominated Lawson to join the ICAO, which has representation from 190 of 193 U.N. members, in September. His nomination is one of 43 diplomatic posts that have been held up by Republicans upset over Democrats' change to filibuster rules.

In February, Lawson faced criticism from Senate Foreign Relations Committee members for his role as a "mega-bundler" for Obama's reelection campaign, but his nomination was recommended to the floor in May.

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