Tuesday 21 November 2017

U.S. Senate votes to confirm Kerry as secretary of state as Transport boss hands in resignation

Patricia Zengerle and Jeff Mason

U.S. Senator John Kerry received enough Senate votes today to be confirmed as President Barack Obama's new secretary of state, succeeding Hillary Clinton.

The five-term senator and 2004 unsuccessful presidential candidate had broad support from fellow Democrats and Republicans in the Senate. As voting continued, he had received well over 60 votes in favor of his confirmation, and just two against it.

However, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said he was to reign, marking the latest departure from President Barack Obama's Cabinet.

The full Senate is expected to confirm Kerry later on Tuesday.

The five-term senator and 2004 failed presidential candidate has broad support from fellow Democrats as well as Republicans in the Senate.

Meanwhile, LaHood said: "I have let President Obama know that I will not serve a second term as secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation," LaHood said in a statement.

LaHood, a Republican and former Illinois congressman, brought a bipartisan element to the Democratic president's team. LaHood said he would stay on until his successor is confirmed by the Senate.

Obama has been under pressure to bring more women and minorities into his Cabinet.

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