Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is one step closer to reporting for duty in Foggy Bottom.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday morning, in one of the quickest congressional hearings you’ll ever see, took about 20 minutes to approve Kerry’s nomination to become secretary of state.
“It was unanimous,” a smiling Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., told reporters as she exited the hearing room inside the Capitol.
Moments later, Kerry himself, who technically still chairs the Foreign Relations panel, entered the small hearing room. Applause from those senators and staff members still inside could be heard in the ornate lobby just outside.
The full Senate is expected to take up the nomination later on Tuesday. Unlike the controversial and partisan fight expected for defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska who is opposed by many Republicans, the lone remaining question surrounding Kerry’s nomination is: How close to a unanimous vote will be the outcome?
Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s final day reportedly will be Friday.