U.S. Senate votes to confirm Biden's ambassador to Germany

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann participates in a roundtable discussion with Vice President Joe Biden at the Perelman School of Medicine and Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania January 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Makela

WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate confirmed on Tuesday President Joe Biden's nominee for ambassador to Germany, Amy Gutmann, filling the high-profile post six months after her nomination.

The vote was 54 to 42, largely along party lines, with almost every Republican opposing her.

Gutmann, 72, president of the University of Pennsylvania, assumes the post in Berlin as the United States and Germany grapple with the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Some of the Republicans who voted against her nomination had attended a dinner on Monday with Germany's new chancellor, Olaf Scholz.

Biden and Scholz stressed unity during Scholz's visit to Washington on Monday as the West rallies to avert a war in Europe.

Some Republicans objected to Gutmann's nomination because the university had appointed Biden to a professorship after he served eight years as U.S. vice president. They accused Gutmann's appointment of being a "quid pro quo."

The White House rejected that, saying Gutmann, an expert in political philosophy, is eminently qualified.

Others questioned Gutmann because of donations to the university from donors in China. She responded that less than 1% of the school's donations come from donors in China and that it accepts no funds that might compromise its values.

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Reporting by Patricia Zengerle Editing by Mark Heinrich

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