The Straits Times
Published on Jan 25, 2013

Speedy US Senate confirmation for Kerry


WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote on Mr John Kerry's confirmation as President Barack Obama's secretary of state early next week, clearing the way for a quick vote by the full Senate, Senator Robert Menendez said on Thursday.

Mr Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who is next in line to chair the Foreign Relations Committee if Mr Kerry is confirmed, said the panel had scheduled a business meeting on Tuesday during which it could vote the nomination.

That would clear the way for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to set a vote by the full Senate.

"I would expect that soon thereafter, very possibly on the same day, Senator (Harry) Reid would bring his nomination to the floor," Mr Menendez told Reuters after Mr Kerry's confirmation hearing before the Foreign Relations Committee.