WASHINGTON (AP) — The nomination of a Pakistani-born businessman who would be the highest-ranking Muslim in the U.S. government is in jeopardy because Senate Republicans have repeatedly blocked his confirmation. The stalemate has led to Democratic charges of anti-Muslim bias and galvanized some Muslim and Jewish organizations to condemn the delay. President Biden is so far standing behind his selection of Dilawar Syed to be deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration. But the nomination has stalled as Republicans have failed to show up for committee votes, citing the agency's payouts to abortion providers. "Mr. Syed is not responsible for those funds, so his nomination is being held hostage to a policy dispute with which he has no influence or decision-making power," said Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance. He argued that the inaction was an "excuse for a lot of issues that have nothing to do with suitability for the position." Republicans say they are holding up Syed's nomination because of their objections to coronavirus aid money that the agency approved for branches of Planned Parenthood across the United States. Democrats and the White House say GOP senators have provided shifting explanations for their blockade and that the… Read full this story
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