U.S. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, cast one of the three "no" votes on the confirmation of fellow Sen. John Kerry as secretary of state to replace retiring Hillary Clinton. The final vote was 94-3, with Inhofe and two Texas senators opposing. Oklahoma's Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, voted "yea."
"I have known Sen. Kerry for many years and consider him a friend. However, I am simply too philosophically opposed on the issues to support his nomination," Inhofe said. "I do not believe that Kerry is a strong advocate of U.S. sovereignty but favors expanding the powers of the United Nations at the expense of the U.S.
"For example, Kerry was the leader, as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, to pass the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) and supports most all sovereignty eroding treaties involving the United Nations, including the International Criminal Court, the Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities and the Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty among others."
Kerry is the 10th most senior senator and the second longest serving senator in his seat. He also has senior positions on the finance, commerce and small business committees.
He is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the same committee he testified before in 1971 as a veteran pushing for an end to the Vietnam War. The committee is charged with addressing key foreign policy and national security issues, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, nuclear nonproliferation and global climate change.
"Kerry has also been a strong advocate for U.S. action on climate change," Inhofe said. "While these discussions of a legislative solution have proved to be pointless since the Senate defeated global warming legislation in 2009, the topic remains a high priority for the international community.
"I expect Kerry will spend a significant amount of his time supporting the United Nations with a revived Kyoto Treaty to combat climate change, which would be devastating to every facet of our economy."
Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz also voted against the nomination.
The president said he was pleased with the strong support represented by the vote.
"I am pleased that the Senate has confirmed John Kerry as our next Secretary of State with overwhelming bipartisan support," President Barack Obama said. "From his decorated service in Vietnam to his decades in the Senate as a champion of American global leadership, John's distinguished career has prepared him to guide American diplomacy in the years ahead."
Inhofe maintains that despite his friendship with Kerry, he believes the Massachusetts senator has been "on the wrong side of history."
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