Politics & Policy

Senate Confirms Antony Blinken as Secretary of State

Antony J. Blinken, speaks during his confirmation hearing at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, January 19, 2021. (Graeme Jennings/Pool via Reuters)

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Antony Blinken, a veteran diplomat, as Secretary of State.

Blinken, who previously served as deputy secretary of state during former Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration, was confirmed by the Senate 78-22 on Tuesday.

Blinken, a long-time aide to Biden, will work to pivot the United States away from the “America First” approach to foreign policy that the Trump administration followed, instead shifting toward a focus on multilateralism and coalitions.

During his confirmation hearing last week he said he is “committed to advancing our security and prosperity by building a diplomatic corps that fully represents America in all its talent and diversity.”

He called for humility, saying “we have a great deal of work to do at home to enhance our standing abroad.”

“Humility because most of the world’s problems are not about us, even as they affect us,” he said. “Not one of the big challenges we face can be met by one country acting alone — even one as powerful as the U.S. But we’ll also act with confidence that America at its best still has a greater ability than any country on earth to mobilize others for the greater good.”

However, he also acknowledged that former President Donald Trump “was right in taking a tougher approach to China.” 

“I disagree, very much, with the way that he went about it in a number of areas, but the basic principle was the right one, and I think that’s actually helpful to our foreign policy,” Blinken said.

Blinken becomes the fourth Biden Cabinet nominee to be confirmed, after Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

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