Kerry’s Confirmation Hearing: “Foreign Policy is Economic Policy”

By Anna Jensen-Clem

Senator John Kerry spoke of a broad-based US foreign policy in his Senate confirmation hearings on Wednesday. In his opening remarks, Kerry, a 28-year veteran of the Senate and longtime chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, advocated for a continued policy of economic development and humanitarian aid, often in place of military intervention. He indicated that he would continue Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s policies and expand the State Department’s role in climate change, energy policy, and economic policies both domestically and abroad:

“American foreign policy is also defined by food security and energy security, humanitarian assistance, the fight against disease and the push for development, as much as it is by any single counterterrorism initiative. It is defined by leadership on life-threatening issues like climate change, or fighting to lift up millions of lives by promoting freedom and democracy from Africa to the Americas or speaking out for the prisoners of gulags in North Korea or millions of refugees and displaced persons and victims of human trafficking. It is defined by keeping faith with all that our troops have sacrificed to secure for Afghanistan. America lives up to her values when we give voice to the voiceless.”

Senator Kerry’s confirmation hearing was relatively painless, and he is expected to succeed Secretary Clinton after she steps down next month. His ascension from chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to Secretary of State would be the first since 1897, the New York Times noted this morning.


Update: Kerry was confirmed in a 94-3 Senate vote on Tuesday, January 29th.