Senator Helms Blocks William Weld Nomination

President Clinton nominates William Weld 

On September 12, 1997, Senator Helms held a special meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He wanted to address accusations that he was making history by not voting on the William Weld nomination as Ambassador to Mexico. Helms, however, thought the press where a little off base with their accusations.

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Senator Helms’ Response to Weld Nomination

At this special hearing, Chairman Helms presented over 150 examples of when a committee chairman blocked Presidential appointment without holding a hearing. Clearly, he did not set the precedent for such an occurrence.

Former Governor Weld did not take kindly to Helms blocking his nomination and on September 15, 1997, withdrew his nomination and ended the five month battle.

In an example of Helms’ willingness to work with President Clinton, Helms sent Clinton a letter suggesting he nominate Weld as Ambassador to any other country…just not Mexico. Helms thought Mr. Weld’s views on drugs were a bad fit for an Ambassador to Mexico.

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All videos are intended for educational purposes only. Videos obtained from

Letter and cartoon are owned by The Jesse Helms Center Archives.