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Senate panel to vote on Clinton for Cabinet post

Senate panel to vote on Clinton for Cabinet post

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is expected to be swiftly endorsed by a Senate panel as President-elect Barack Obama's new secretary of state Thursday.
Indications from both parties this week were that Clinton would win a near-unanimous vote Thursday in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The committee vote will pave the way for a full Senate vote after Obama is sworn in on Tuesday.
"No problema," Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat on the committee, said of Clinton's prospects. And on the issues, Nelson added, "we see it very similarly."
Clinton and outgoing Sen. Joseph Biden, the vice president-elect, are expected to give their farewell speeches on the Senate floor on Thursday.
Democrats and Republicans alike praised Clinton's acumen on the issues, although some Republicans, worrying about potential ethics conflicts, still criticized former President Bill Clinton's charitable foundation for continuing to accept overseas contributions once she takes office.
Earlier this week, Clinton faced her former colleagues in a confirmation hearing that turned into a collegial discussion on how to bring peace to the Middle East and end the war in Iraq, among other weighty issues.
Unchallenged by tough questioning, Clinton spoke in mostly broad terms of revitalizing the mission of diplomacy in American foreign policy, stepping up efforts in Afghanistan and improving the State Department's approach to arms control.
Sen. John Kerry, the panel's new chairman, said in an interview Wednesday that congressional Democrats and Clinton are at "the same starting point" but added that that doesn't mean he and his colleagues won't enforce stringent oversight of Clinton's work once she takes office.
The most immediate and pressing need is to end the violence between Israel and Hamas-backed militants in the Gaza Strip, Kerry said.
After voting on Clinton's nomination, the Foreign Relations Committee plans to review the appointment of Susan Rice as U.N. ambassador. Rice is considered a shoo-in as well.
Panel members were expected to raise questions about how she would coordinate with Clinton. Obama has decided to elevate the position of U.N. ambassador to a Cabinet position.
Clinton's successor in the Senate has not been named, but Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of late President John F. Kennedy, is among the contenders. New York Gov. David Paterson will choose Clinton's replacement.


Updated : 2021-06-25 17:52 GMT+08:00