Despite the partial government shutdown that has halted most official federal business in the US, Senators of the outgoing US congress managed to approve a group of ambassadors to fill long-standing vacancies.

Australia has been without an ambassador from the US since 2016, something that has been a sore spot in bilateral relations.  But now, long-time Republican lawyer Arthur Culvahouse, Jr. will fill represent the Trump White House in Oz.  He was a legal advisor to then-President Ronald Reagan during the Iran-Contra Scandal in which the Reagan Administration secretly sold weapons to Iran and funneled the profits to Central American anti-Communist militias who turned out to be drug runners. 

Culvahouse later helped shepherd Robert Bork through his failed nomination to the Supreme Court; Bork was rejected by lawmakers for his extreme views.  More recently, Culvahouse worked for John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, vetting potential running mates and helping McCain to settle on Sarah Palin.  Which didn't work out too well.