• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Sen. John Kerry confirmed as secretary of state

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman JohnKerry, D-Mass., sits before the committee he has served on for 28 years and led for the past four as he seeks confirmation as U.S. secretary of state, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013.

January 29, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The Senate has confirmed Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry as the next secretary of state. The vote was 94-3. Once sworn-in, Kerry will replace Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is stepping down after four years.

The vote came just hours after the Foreign Relations Committee approved his nomination by voice vote. Kerry has led the committee for the past four years.

The five-term Democratic Massachusetts senator was not expected to face real opposition from his colleagues.

Kerry was expected to submit his letter of resignation to the Senate Tuesday. He has served on the Foreign Relations panel for 28 years and led the committee for the past four.

The 69-year-old Kerry is a decorated Vietnam veteran and the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate. losing a close election to incumbent George W. Bush.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.