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After 7 Months, US Senate Approves Obama USAID Nominee

FILE - White House adviser Gayle Smith, attending a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, on President Barack Obama administration’s response to Ebola in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House compound in Washington, Nov. 13, 2014.

The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed President Barack Obama's selection of Gayle Smith to be administrator of the country's main humanitarian aid organization, the U.S. Agency for International Development, seven months after her nomination.

Smith, a long-time White House adviser on development issues, was confirmed by a vote of 79-7, with strong support from both Obama's fellow Democrats and Republicans.

Obama nominated Smith in April, but her nomination was delayed by Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a contender for his party's 2016 presidential nomination, as a protest over the nuclear talks with Iran that led to the international agreement announced in July.

With the world's attention focused on humanitarian crises, including the millions of Syrians fleeing the long war in their homeland, the Senate's Republican leaders agreed earlier this month to allow a vote on Smith's confirmation.