Kerry Sec'y State Nomination Clears Senate Panel

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Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is one step closer to becoming the next secretary of state.

On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the Democratic lawmaker with no opposition.

The five-term Massachusetts Democrat and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate is President Obama's choice to succeed Secretary of State Hillary 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.

The 69-year-old drew bipartisan praise for the extensive grasp of foreign relations issues he demonstrated during his confirmation hearing.

The full Senate is expected to vote on Kerry's nomination Tuesday afternoon.

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