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Senate Confirms Antony Blinken as Biden’s Secretary of State

U.S. News & World Report logo U.S. News & World Report 1/26/2021 Alexa Lardieri
Tony Blinken wearing a suit and tie: Antony Blinken speaks during his confirmation hearing to be Secretary of State before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. © (Alex Edelman-Pool/Getty Images) Antony Blinken speaks during his confirmation hearing to be Secretary of State before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Antony Blinken as secretary of state in a 78-22 vote.

Blinken, a longtime aide to President Joe Biden, had previously served as deputy national security adviser and deputy secretary of state during the Obama administration. As the nation's 71st secretary of state, Blinken is charged with reversing the Trump administration's "America's First" practice, which strained international alliances.

The position is also the most senior Cabinet post, and the 58-year-old is now fourth in the line of presidential succession. With Blinken's confirmation, Biden now has key members of his national security team in place.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines was confirmed on Inauguration Day, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was confirmed Friday, and Jake Sullivan was appointed as national security adviser, which does not require Senate confirmation.

White House chief of staff Ronald Klain tweeted that Biden has matched former President Barack Obama's record of having his secretaries of State, Defense and Treasury all in place within the first week of his term.

Shortly before inauguration, Blinken said it "would be the honor of my life to work with these leaders – and all of the Department's women and men – to reinvigorate the power of America's example."

Despite all the "no" votes coming from Republicans, many on the right are pleased with Blinken as secretary of state, with Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina having called him an "outstanding choice."

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