Kerry Replaces Biden on Foreign Relations Committee

Nuclear nonproliferation among agenda items as Mass. Dem takes over from Biden
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2008 12:00 PM CST
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, will take over the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from Joe Biden, who will become Vice President.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – John Kerry will be the next chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Boston Globe reports, replacing Joe Biden when he assumes the vice presidency in January. Kerry plans to use his new post to ramp up anti-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to curb the spread of nuclear weapons, aides to the Massachusetts Democrat said.

The chairmanship is also a symbolic pinnacle for Kerry—his first appearance in the Senate was testifying before the committee in 1971 as a 27-year-old Vietnam veteran and anti-war activist. The role “gives the person who holds it an incredible position to shape policy,’ said one analyst, with the committee evaluating foreign treaties and holding confirmation hearings for State Department nominees, among other duties.