To avoid confirmation fight, Bush names ambassador to EU a special envoy

US President George W. Bush is changing the job title of the US ambassador to the European Union and naming him a special envoy to avoid having to request Senate confirmation. The White House announced Friday in Kuwait, where Bush was visiting, that C. Boyden Gray will serve as Bush's special envoy for European Union Affairs. Bush appointed Gray as ambassador to the European Union in January 2006, during a congressional recess, which precludes the necessity for Senate confirmation hearings. His appointment expired Dec. 31, the end of the congressional session that followed his appointment. "In order that the United States may continue to benefit from his experience and expertise at a time of great importance in US-EU relations, the president has asked him to serve in this new role," the White House announcement said.