SENATE

Senate panel Oks ex-Sen. Scott Brown to be New Zealand envoy

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved the nomination of former Sen. Scott Brown to be U.S. ambassador to New Zealand.

The move -- by voice vote on Thursday -- all but assures that the full Senate will confirm Brown's selection for the post after the Memorial Day recess.

Brown is a Republican who represented Massachusetts in the Senate from 2010 to 2013. He won a special election to fill the seat held by the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, a Democrat.

Brown lost that seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren, and in 2014, he lost a Senate race in New Hampshire to Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Brown faced no opposition during his confirmation hearing last week.