By Donna Cassata
---- — WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved President Barack Obama's nomination of Sen. John Kerry to be the next secretary of state.
With no opposition to the choice, the panel approved Kerry by voice vote this morning. The full Senate is expected to vote this afternoon.
Obama chose the five-term Massachusetts Democrat and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham 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.