The Washington Post

Kerry cruise to confirmation expected to begin with Thursday hearing

President Obama looks to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., after announcing his nomination as the next secretary of state in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

The Senate will begin consideration next week of one of its own, John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), to be the next secretary of state.

Kerry’s confirmation hearing is to take place Thursday morning before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the panel he now heads. A spokesman has said Kerry plans to step aside as chairman before the session.

The longtime foreign policy expert, who has served in the Senate since 1985, is expected to win easy approval and could be on the job by early February. The committee is not likely to vote on his nomination until the following week, with approval by the full Senate expected to follow quickly.

Kerry’s Senate hearing was held up until both the Senate and House could hear directly from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton about her response to the fatal attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Libya.

Clinton will testify Wednesday morning before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and in the afternoon before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) will preside at the Senate hearing, the committee said Thursday.

Menendez is in line to assume the high-profile committee chairmanship once Kerry is confirmed as secretary of state.

Clinton canceled congressional appearances last month because of illness. She sent deputies in her place, but pledged to testify later about the findings of an independent inquiry into the attack in Benghazi, Libya.

A report released by an independent panel last month criticized security at the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi as “grossly inadequate” and raised questions about a “lack of proactive leadership” within the State Department’s Bureau for Diplomatic Security. Four department officials were disciplined.

The appearances are likely to be Clinton’s last as secretary of state.

Anne Gearan is a national politics correspondent for The Washington Post.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
In defense of dads
Play Videos
How to make head cheese
Perks of private flying
The rise and fall of baseball cards
Play Videos
Husband finds love, loss in baseball
New hurdles for a Maryland tradition
How to survive a shark attack
Play Videos
Portland's most important meal of the day
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to save and spend money at college

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.