New Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan swears in Secretary of State John Kerry on February 1, 2013, in the Foreign Relations Committee Room in the Capitol.

Published on February 4th, 2013 | by Editor


IFSA Welcomes Secretary of State John Kerry

Statement Before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Washington, DC January 24, 2013 (Excerpts)

[…]  “It is humbling to appear before you in a new role as President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of State. But my approach to this role, if confirmed, is also deeply informed by the 28 plus years that I’ve spent serving here on this Committee and in the Senate. That perspective will remain with me if confirmed as Secretary, and I’m already excited by the many ways in which we can work together and in which we must work together to advance America’s security interests in a complicated and even dangerous world.

I would add that I’m particularly aware that in many ways the greatest challenge to America’s foreign policy will be in your hands, not mine – because while it’s often said that we can’t be strong at home if we’re not strong in the world, in these days of fiscal crisis, and as a recovering member of the Super-Committee, I am especially cognizant of the fact that we can’t be strong in the world unless we are strong at home – and the first priority of business which will affect my credibility as a diplomat working to help other countries create order, is whether America at last puts its own fiscal house in order.

I can’t emphasize enough how critical this imperative is. People all over the world are looking to the United States for leadership. We are known as the indispensable nation for good reason. No nation has more opportunity to advance the cause of democracy and no nation is as committed to the cause of human rights as we are. But to protect our nation and make good on all our promises, as well as to live up to our ideals and meet the crisis of this moment, it is urgent that we show people we can get our business done in an effective and timely way. It is difficult enough to solve some of the problems we face, but it becomes near impossible if we ourselves replace our credibility and leverage with gridlock and dysfunction. […]”

Read full text of testimony at

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