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Senate confirms Antony Blinken as secretary of state in 78-22 vote

Janet Yellen confirmed as treasury secretary
Janet Yellen confirmed as treasury secretary 00:28

Washington — The Senate voted to confirm Antony Blinken as secretary of state on Tuesday, continuing the process of confirming President Joe Biden's nominees to key Cabinet posts. Blinken was confirmed by a vote of 78 yeas to 22 nays, with all of the no votes coming from Republicans. The Senate has so far voted to confirm several of Mr. Biden's nominees on a bipartisan basis.

Blinken is a longtime diplomat and a member of Mr. Biden's inner circle. He served in the past two Democratic administrations, including as a deputy national security adviser from 2013 to 2015 and as deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017. Mr. Biden first began working with Blinken more than 15 years ago when he led the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Blinken served as Democratic staff director.

At his confirmation hearing before the Foreign Relations Committee last week, Blinken pledged to restore American leadership on the world stage and revitalize the ranks of the State Department.

"The reality is that the world doesn't organize itself. When we're not engaged, when we don't lead, then one of two things happen: either some other country tries to take our place, but probably not in a way that advances our interests or values," Blinken said. "Or no one does, and then you get chaos. Either way, that does not serve the American people."

Blinken's nomination was advanced by the Foreign Relations Committee by a vote of 15 to 3 on Monday. The Senate will be using the upcoming weeks to hold hearings and confirmation votes for Mr. Biden's Cabinet nominees, ahead of an expected impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump, which is set to begin on February 8.

Blinken is the fifth member of Mr. Biden's cabinet to be confirmed by the Senate, following Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Defense Secretary General Lloyd Austin and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The Senate voted to confirm Yellen on Monday by a vote of 84 to 15, making her the first woman to lead the department in its more than 230-year history.

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