WASHINGTON President Barack Obama’s nomination of Sen. John Kerry to be secretary of state won approval Tuesday from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The panel’s action sends the nomination to the Senate floor, where a final vote is scheduled for later Tuesday. Kerry is a Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the committee. He didn’t attend the panel’s session on his nomination.
Obama chose the five-term Massachusetts senator and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is stepping down after four years.
Kerry has served on the Foreign Relations panel for 28 years and led the committee for the past four. He is the son of a diplomat and a decorated Vietnam veteran.
Obama is overhauling his national security team. The president has nominated Chuck Hagel for defense secretary and John Brennan to serve as CIA director.