Branstad and Republicans who pushed the bills through the Legislature say the measures on collective bargaining and wages were aimed at keeping the state competitive financially.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, addressed the need for cloture on the nomination, delaying Branstad's nomination for 30 hours.
Branstad is in his sixth nonconsecutive term as Iowa's governor.
That will end the nation's longest stint ever by a governor of any state, Branstad noted, adding that "time flies when you're having fun".
Before I speak about the nominee, I'd first like to express my disappointment and frustration with the seemingly endless obstruction on the part of the minority.
Donald Trump's chosen ambassador to Beijing, one of the US's most important foreign envoys, has just been confirmed, four months into his presidency. None of this would have been possible without the dedicated love and support of my wife Chris and my family. He and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds were re-elected in 2014.
He says Branstad will have his hands full in his new role, but says his personal ties to Chinese President Xi Jinping will help. Branstad has earned bipartisan praise for his firsthand experience on key issues in the U.S.
"It's very clear that Gov. Branstad is someone who will represent our country well on the world stage, and we couldn't be prouder of this selection". "It's probably the biggest challenge I've ever had in my lifetime, but I'm in a unique situation since I'm an old friend of the leader of China and a confidante of the president of the United States".
I'm honored to have the opportunity today to speak to my colleagues about my good friend, Governor Terry Branstad.
"She's kind of been the lead person on that, but I've been helping", Branstad said of the packing process.
Although his heart will always be in Iowa, I know that Governor Branstad will throw himself into this job whole-heartedly.
Cardin said Branstad "has a passion about American values".
During his confirmation hearing earlier in May, Branstad said, if confirmed, he would work to "positively influence" the US-China relationship. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, Branstad read an opening statement tracing his journey from a north Iowa farm to the governor's office.
Branstad told the Nonpareil last week that he'd draw on his friendship with Xi in working with the country on trade, potential threats from North Korea and other issues.