The Washington Post

For Kerry nomination, a procedural hiccup

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Still, there’s one tiny, procedural hiccup.

Seems some Senate committees have not yet been officially ratified for this Congress. That means that the new Senate Foreign Relations Committee can’t vote on Kerry — though the panel held a Thursday hearing on his nomination — until the Senate formally recognizes the committee.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who will take over the gavel from Kerry once the Massachusetts Democrat resigns the Senate to take the fancy new job, had to ask permission at the start of the Thursday hearing for the new committee members (including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Rand Paul) to even be part of the proceedings, since they hadn’t officially been made part of the panel.

That’s typically a routine housekeeping matter, but it appears to be caught up in an unrelated debate, with sources saying it might wait until the debate over filibuster reform is settled.

Looks like that’s expected to be cleared up soon, perhaps in time for a committee vote next week leading to a full Senate vote — after which Kerry will surely face far choppier seas in the new gig.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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