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7 GOP Congress Members Want Illinois State Senator As Ambassador To Kenya

A state senator from southern Illinois has been recommended as the next U.S. ambassador to Kenya.

The seven Republicans in the Illinois Congressional delegation sent a letter to President Donald Trump saying State Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Vandalia, would be a good candidate for the job. McCarter has done charity work in the east-African country for decades.

He’d still have to be nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

“There’s processes to go through. I know this transition has been a big challenge for the new administration,” McCarter said. “So it’s up to them. It’s up to their decision and how quickly they move it along.”

Kenya has one of the largest refugee populations in the world. Asylum seekers from neighboring South Sudan and Somalia are fleeing famine and violence in their home countries.

President Trump has proposed slashing foreign aid by a third. McCarter said aid organizations will need to work with less and focus on bringing American corporations into the fold.

“If we’re going to invest in power in Kenya, we should be investing with American corporations and partnering together to do that," McCarter said. "So there could be huge, huge advantages."

McCarter’s Senate career is coming to an end. He says he believes in term limits, and for that reason has decided not to seek re-election.

Tom reports on statehouse issues for NPR Illinois. He's currently a Public Affairs Reporting graduate program student at the University of Illinois Springfield. He graduated from Macalester College. Tom is from New York City where he also did stand-up and improv and wrote for the Awl and WNYC public radio.
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