The confirmation process to approve President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Tony Blinken for U.S. Secretary of States began today, with U.S. Senator Bob Menendez calling him “superbly qualified and prepared.”
When two Georgia Democrats are sworn in and Kamala Harris becomes Vice President on Wednesday, Democrats will take the majority in the Senate and Menendez will assume the chairmanship of the Foreign Relations Committee.
In a hearing today that represented a changing of the guard – Chairman James Risch (R-Idaho) will move to Menendez’s old job as ranking minority member – Menendez spoke of the “insurrection at the Capitol on January 6.”
“The images from that day are permanently seared in our collective conscience: terrorists defiling the Capitol with Confederate flags and Nazi images, seeking to take hostage or perhaps kill our democratically-elected leaders, savagely beating police officers,” Menendez said.
Menendez said that the “attack on the very foundations of our democracy delivered a tragic reminder that our ability to project power abroad is inextricably linked to the health and strength of our democracy.”
“This does not mean that we cannot talk about the importance of democracy abroad. No. But rather, we must show that Senators and all other leaders in this country have a duty to stand up for democracy, for the Constitution, for the rule of law,” he said. “There can be no exceptions. I expect that from the Biden administration and based on my experience, I know, Mr. Blinken, will do so in word and deed.”