The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted today, May 21, along party lines to approve Michael Pack for full Senate floor vote confirmation as CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) over strong objections from Ranking Member Senator Bob Menendez (R-NJ) and other committee Democrats. The $800 million USAGM federal agency in charge of U.S. media outreach abroad oversees five networks: two federal organizations — the Voice of America (VOA) and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), which oversees Radio and TV Martí — and three non-profit organizations — Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA) and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN) — which receive grants from USAGM.
Democratic committee members made numerous attempts to delay the vote but were overruled by Senate Foreign Relation Committee Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID).
Democrats argued that Pack’s confirmation should not be approved by the committee at this time. They demanded the final vote should postponed because a nonprofit organization he runs is being investigated by the D.C. attorney general. Some Democratic senators accused him of providing either intentionally or unintentionally incomplete or erroneous answers about his non-profit.
Republicans argued that Pack’s confirmation is being opposed by Democrats for partisan reasons.
The final vote in the committee in favor of Pack’s confirmation by the full Senate was 12 to 10.
ALSO SEE: Amanda Bennett Is First Voice of America Director at War with Refugees From Communism and Iran EXCLUSIVE, USAGM Watch Commentary, May 4, 2020