Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Foreign Relations

When I wrote this post in November, there was some uncertainty as to who would replace Vice President-elect Joe Biden as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John Kerry has taken on that role.

This article in today's New York Times is about Kerry in his new position.

Today, Kerry will chair the most high-profile hearing so far, in his brief time at the head of that committee. Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton will testify at a confirmation hearing.

Even before she became a senator in 2001, Clinton had experience with congressional hearings. When, as first lady, she testified to the House Ways and Means Committee about the health care plan that she had developed on behalf of her husband's administration, she found herself face to face with Dick Armey, who at that time chaired the House Republican Conference. Armey had called the plan a Dr. Kevorkian prescription. This New York Times report tells of the exchange between Clinton and Armey at that hearing.

In part due to a backlash against what had come to be called "Hillarycare", the Republicans gained a majority in the House at the next election, and Armey became majority leader.

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