Progress made in Hoekstra’s ambassador nomination

Pete Hoekstra
A March 8, 2016 AP file photo of former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra in Lansing.

WASHINGTON (WOOD) — The long, slow process of approving appointees of President Donald Trump made some movement forward Wednesday in the U.S. Senate.

A number of the president’s appointees to become ambassador had confirmation hearings, including West Michigan’s Peter Hoekstra.

The former lakeshore congressman served from 1993 until 2011. He was head of the Select Committee on Intelligence and also served on the Committee on Education and the Work force.

Now, Hoekstra is set to become ambassador to the Netherlands, the country in which he was born.

He talked about his heritage and how his family’s immigration and life in the states was truly the American dream.

“I’m a native born Dutchman, I was born in the Netherlands in 1953. My parents immigrated in 1956,” he said. “My parents were liberated by American and Canadian troops during World War II so they had that fondness and appreciation for America.”

He also received a strong endorsement from onetime political opponent Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

“It’s true Pete Hoekstra and I don’t always agree but we feel the same way about our wonderful state of Michigan, about invasive species that we tackled together and about our country,” she said.

Hoekstra threw his support behind Trump during the presidential campaign and had long been thought to be up for an administration position.

Some thought the position would be in the intelligence community, but now it appears he will be headed to one of the United State’s closest allies as ambassador to the Netherlands.

The hearing concluded Wednesday without a vote.

**Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Hoekstra’s last name in the headline. We regret the error, which has been corrected.