Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) announced today that Kerry’s committee will hold a hearing next Thursday on the nomination of Kerry for secretary of State.
Because Kerry can’t confirm the nomination of Kerry, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) will preside.
Menendez is the presumed replacement for Kerry should the chairman be confirmed by his Senate colleagues. The New Jersey Democrat is often more in line with Republicans than with Kerry on Iran and Israel issues.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) would be next in line after Kerry to take the gavel, but she has expressed her preference to stay at the helm of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
Kerry will likely sail through the confirmation process, especially appearing before a committee composed of his fellow committee members.
The Republicans on the panel are Ranking Member Bob Corker (Tenn.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), John McCain (Ariz.), John Barrasso (Wyo.), and Rand Paul (Ky.).
McCain, who’s new on the committee this Congress, was one of those who successfully thwarted a potential nomination of UN Ambassador Susan Rice to succeed Hillary Clinton. He and Kerry have a long friendship, sometimes rocky due to policy differences. A fellow Vietnam veteran, McCain has also taken issue with Kerry’s postwar activism.
“I said he shouldn’t have thrown his medals on the steps, and that I heard about it while I was in prison,” McCain once told a journalist.