Kansas could have a new governor by the end of this month.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has placed Gov. Sam Brownback’s nomination for an ambassadorship on the U.S. Senate’s list of possible considerations for the week, according to Kara Fullmer, a spokeswoman for Brownback and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer.
That means a confirmation vote for Brownback could be imminent after six months of waiting.
Senate Republicans filed for cloture on Brownback’s nomination Monday and faced no objections. An initial procedural vote on Brownback will take place by Friday, but could happen earlier if Democrats agree.
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If Brownback passes on the initial vote, the final vote would take place days later.
Brownback’s fellow Kansas Republican, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, was presiding over the chamber when the motion was made.
Colyer, a Johnson County plastic surgeon, will succeed Brownback as governor if the Senate approves the governor’s nomination to serve as ambassador at-large for international religious freedom.
The Washington-based ambassador serves as the nation’s main advocate for religious minorities facing persecution around the globe.
President Donald Trump first tapped Brownback for the position in July, but his nomination stalled after Senate Democrats raised concerns about Brownback’s record on LGBT rights.
Brownback had begun ceding some of his key duties to Colyer late last year, allowing his lieutenant to make a Cabinet appointment and take a lead role in crafting the state’s budget.
Colyer is seeking the GOP nomination for governor in 2018 against a crowded field of candidates, which includes Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer.
Brownback will require near unanimity by Republicans to obtain the 51-vote majority needed for confirmation.
Republicans hold 51 seats in the chamber and Vice President Mike Pence would have to cast the tie-breaking vote if just one Republican joined Democrats in voting against Brownback’s nomination.
Two Republican dissenters would be enough to sink his nomination if every Democrat opposed Brownback.