President Donald Trump’s nomination of former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra to be U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands is unique among many recent Trump appointees: the Michigan Republican is quickly drawing bipartisan support, Newsmax reports.
Within days of the announcement that the Netherlands-born Hoekstra was tapped to represent the U.S. in the land of his ancestors, former Representative Jane Harman weighed in with a strong endorsement of her onetime colleague.
“I am thrilled for Pete, with whom I worked closely when he chaired and I was Ranking Member on the House Intelligence Committee. We showed that bipartisanship can work, and he brings those skills, the affection of his colleagues and his Dutch roots to his new post.” said Harman, now president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Sources from Capitol Hill told us that other Democrats are expected to give their blessing to sending Hoekstra to the U.S. Embassy in Amsterdam. Some even expect Michigan’s Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow to introduce Hoekstra to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for confirmation hearings five years after he was her Republican opponent.
Although Hoekstra declined to discuss anything specifically dealing with his nomination, he did talk about his background with Newsmax and why he felt it would be an asset to the U.S. in the Netherlands.
Speaking of his 15 years with the Herman Miller Company after earning an MBA at the University of Michigan, Hoekstra said, “I had the opportunity to work for a company that was recognized internationally for product design. Its forward-looking management practices, such as advancing women in the corporate world, were invaluable training for me.”
In 1992, Hoekstra came out of nowhere to win a congressional seat in one of the biggest upsets in any race that year. On a budget of less than $50,000, riding a bicycle to meet voters and hand-deliver press releases to radio stations, the unknown Hoekstra won the Republican primary over 13-term Representative Guy Vander Jagt, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Two years later, Hoekstra was asked by House GOP Whip Newt Gingrich to work on the Contract with America.
As he recalled, “they needed a marketing guy to make our agenda in the ’94 elections more appealing to the voters nationwide”. They succeeded, as Republicans took control of the House for the first time in four decades and made Gingrich speaker.
On the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Hoekstra drew praise from colleagues of both parties for chairing a subcommittee investigating then-Teamster Union President Ron Carey and its violations of campaign finance laws. The Hoekstra probe was considered key to the downfall of Carey in 1997, and Hoekstra himself won strong praise from James P. Hoffa, who was subsequently elected Teamsters president.
Out of Congress since 2010, Hoekstra remains active in politics and has been a frequent commentator on national security matters for networks such as Newsmax TV and Fox News.
Last year, Hoekstra joined the “Trump Train” and helped the upstart billionaire win Michigan, the first time a Republican had done so since 1988.