Barrett testifies, answers questions from Senate panel about ambassadorship to Luxembourg

NOW: Barrett testifies, answers questions from Senate panel about ambassadorship to Luxembourg

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett completed his first step towards his new role to become U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg.

Barrett provided testimony virtually to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

"If confirmed, I pledge to work closely with this committee and the Congress to advance U.S. interests and priorities in Luxembourg," said Barrett.

The long-serving mayor had a pretty laid-back hearing and didn't face opposition from lawmakers. During testimony, Barrett touted serving decades in public office, took questions about Luxembourg's space program and influence in the world's economy.

He also compared Luxembourg's population of about 632,000 people to the size of Milwaukee and said he's proud many people of Luxembourg descent call Wisconsin home.

"Luxembourg relationship is strong, based on our shared history and values, mutual interests, strategic alliance and economic ties," Barrett said.

The committee did not vote on Barrett's confirmation. Instead, he took questions from senators about Luxembourg's role in China's infrastructure project, space programs and addressed concerns the country could become a location for money laundering.

Barrett responded by saying the Financial Action Task Force, who serves as a global money laundering watchdog, will be in Luxembourg this month.

"I intend, if I'm confirmed, to look very closely at what the task force recommendations are and then work with the Luxembourg government to make sure those become a reality," Barrett said.

Before Barrett departs from the mayor's office after serving 17 years, he will face a confirmation vote in the Senate.

It's unclear when the vote will be scheduled.

If Barrett is confirmed, and officially leaves office, Common Council President Cavalier Johnson will become acting mayor until a special election is held.

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