Senate to vote Tuesday on Biden’s secretary of State pick
The Senate will vote Tuesday on Tony Blinken’s nomination to be President Biden’s secretary of State.
The vote, set to take place at noon, is expected to make Blinken the fourth Senate-confirmed Cabinet pick for Biden and the second to be confirmed this week.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) scheduled Blinken’s confirmation vote as the Senate wrapped up its work for Monday.
The move came shortly after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee signed off on Blinken’s nomination in a 15-3 vote on Monday, paving the way for it to be taken up on the Senate floor.
GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Rand Paul (Ky.) and John Barrasso (Wyo.) opposed the nomination in committee.
Democrats had hoped to confirm Blinken last week, but the Senate adjourned on Friday without taking up his nomination.
“And as I said last week on the floor, the American people expect, and the Constitution requires, that we provide advice and consent to ensure that our top national security officials are confirmed in a timely matter. The office of the secretary of State is one of the most important national security positions in the government. It is fourth in the presidential line of succession. It cannot be left vacant,” Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said on Monday before the committee vote.
The pace of Blinken’s nomination is slightly slower than that of Hillary Clinton’s 2009 confirmation to the same post for then-President Obama. Clinton was confirmed on the second day of that Democratic administration.
But it’s still outpacing the confirmation of Rex Tillerson, former President Trump’s first secretary of State. Tillerson had his hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Jan. 11 but wasn’t confirmed by the full Senate until Feb. 1.
Blinken, who was previously deputy secretary during the Obama administration and advised Biden during the campaign, testified before the Foreign Relations Committee last week.
During his hearing, he pledged to increase cooperation with Congress and keep the U.S. Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem and faced a wide-ranging grilling on top foreign policy hot spots including the Middle East, China and Russia.
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