Corker and Hatch Won’t Be Moving Down Under

Senate GOP chairmen opt not to be considered for ambassador to Australia

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker has turned down the chance to be ambassador to Australia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker will not be leaving the chamber to become ambassador to Australia, and neither will Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch.

An aide to Corker confirmed a report that the Tennessee Republican had been under consideration for the post.

Corker told The Tennessean newspaper that he had discussed the possibility with both President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before determining it would not be the right move at this point.

“I shared with them there may very well be some other task down the road that they may need me to tackle on behalf of our country,” Corker told the newspaper.

The Australian Financial Review reported Monday that Hatch had also been under consideration for the position, which needs a new nominee after Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., the commander of Pacific Command who was up for the posting to Canberra, was nominated for the top diplomatic position in South Korea.

But Matt Whitlock, Hatch’s deputy chief of staff, said in an email the Utah Republican would not be relocating to Australia, either.

“Senator Hatch has not had any conversations about an ambassadorship, but looks forward to a well-deserved retirement filled with early bird specials at all you can eat buffets and long walks through Costco,” Whitlock said.

Both Corker and Hatch have already announced plans to retire from the Senate at the end of this Congress.

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