Biden has made 78 ambassadorial nominations but just seven have been confirmed as two Republican senators play hardball

Joe Biden will on Monday hold a high-stakes virtual summit with the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, his latest initiative to restore US authority on the world stage. But the president’s efforts are being hampered by a logjam in Washington that threatens to cripple American diplomacy.

Biden had made 78 ambassadorial nominations as of 5 November, according to the White House, but just seven of them – or 9% – had been confirmed by the Senate. Former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump had 77% and 70% of their ambassadorial nominees confirmed respectively at this stage.

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