If nominated as the next U.S. secretary of state, Susan Rice is likely to have an even tougher time securing the Senate’s nod to assume the position: One of her most vocal critics is planning to join the Senate committee that oversees U.S. foreign relations.
Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona wants to join the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when the 113th U.S. Congress convenes next year, The Cable reports. The committee vets candidates for top U.S. diplomatic positions, including the secretary of state, before sending the president’s nominations for a full Senate vote.
McCain is not expected to challenge Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Texas for the ranking member position but The Cable notes that his presence would nonetheless be felt, especially if Rice does secure President Barack Obama’s nomination.
McCain is among senators that have vocally criticized Rice’s credentials as potential successor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Aside from questioning Rice’s comments in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, McCain wants an inquiry on the current U.S. ambassador’s role in the Clinton administration’s policy on the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
Rice is not yet assured of securing Obama’s nod to succeed Clinton, even though insiders suggest she is the frontrunner for the position. Democrat Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, who heads the SFRC, is another potential candidate.
McCain’s position in the SFRC is also not yet guaranteed. The senator’s representative has clarified to The Cable that despite McCain’s expression of his intention, committee assignments would be determined by theRepublican Party’s leadership.
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