Foreign Relations panel to vote Tuesday on Kerry nomination

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) will get the nod to be the next secretary of State from his colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, setting up a floor vote as early as that afternoon.

The panel, which is now headed by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), confirmed the date on Monday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that he hoped to get Kerry confirmed on the Senate floor as soon as Tuesday if he's been voted out of committee by then.

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Kerry's nomination is expected to sail through after a fairly non-confrontational confirmation hearing last Thursday.

President Obama's first choice to replace outgoing-Secretary Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, withdrew from contention after Republicans vowed to oppose her.

“My sense is your confirmation will go through very, very quickly,” Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), the top Republican on the panel, told Kerry in opening Thursday's hearing.