S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley returns to Capitol Hill ahead of confirmation hearings

January 4, 2017 GMT

WASHINGTON — Gov. Nikki Haley was back on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to meet with members of the U.S. Senate ahead of her expected confirmation as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Haley was seen with her entourage shortly before 3 p.m., leaving a private meeting room tucked into a hallway in the Capitol building.

Haley appeared to be visiting with lawmakers who will vote on her nomination on the Senate floor but who won’t participate in the preliminary consideration that takes place in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Haley had a sit-down Wednesday with U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, who is not on that committee, a source reported.

Haley spent a day on Capitol Hill in early December meeting specifically with committee Republicans, including Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and his staff. These sorts of visits are customary for Cabinet-level nominees, even ones not expected to be controversial, like Haley. Her confirmation hearing, however, might be more contentious than previously anticipated after the United Nations last month voted on a controversial resolution to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The vote, which the Obama administration abstained from, has sparked ire among lawmakers in both parties, with U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and others threatening to withhold U.N. funding until the resolution is reversed.

Haley may also have to answer questions about Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, with whom Haley would be working closely.

Tillerson, the chief executive officer of ExxonMobil, is being scrutinized for having too cozy a relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Haley did not speak with reporters during her visit Wednesday.