The nation's longest serving governor is on track to win Senate confirmation as President Donald Trump's ambassador to China.
The Senate confirmed Branstad on an 82 to 13 vote. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said "he's been a champion for Iowa". He is due to be replaced in Des Moines by Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, who would be the state's first female governor.
Once he resigns, Branstad, 70, will be sworn in as ambassador. Corning was in her sixth year as a state senator when Terry Branstad picked her as his lieutenant governor running mate in 1990.
He served as Iowa's governor from 1983 to 1999 before entering the private sector.
"It's not just worker rights where China falls woefully short", Brown said.
After more than 22 years as my home state's chief executive, I'm proud to support Governor Branstad's nomination to serve our country as the next U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.
"This guy loves this state, and the people of Iowa understood that and respected it and as a result I think he was the most successful politician in the history of the state", said Doug Gross, a Des Moines lawyer who served as Branstad's chief of staff and was the 2002 GOP gubernatorial candidate in Iowa.More news: Group linked to NSA spy leaks threatens sale of new tech secrets
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Trade and worldwide security are two of the main issues Branstad will have in his sights as he moves east. Professor Dong says the top priority will be getting the USA and China on the same page when dealing with North Korea.
Branstad says he was saddened to hear about Corning's death. "But when the president of the United States asks you to take on an even bigger challenge ..."
Branstad said he and his wife plan to maintain their home on Lake Panorama and are in the process of sorting and packing things that will either go there or to China.
"She's kind of been the lead person on that, but I've been helping", Branstad said of the packing process. "She's a thrower and I'm a saver, let's put it that way, but that's always been the case". "I have a tendency to not want to throw anything away".
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds would then be sworn in as Governor.
Miller stated that the lieutenant governor can become governor, but does not have the legal authority to appoint a new lieutenant governor.
He says Branstad will have his hands full in his new role, but says his personal ties to Chinese President Xi Jinping will help. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, declared Branstad "fully qualified" for the job.