Senate Committee Approves Rice; 16-2

1-19-05 - CAPITOL HILL (AP) The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has overwhelmingly approved the nomination of Condoleezza Rice to be the next secretary of state.

The vote was 16-to-two, with only Democratic Senators John Kerry and Barbara Boxer voting against Rice.

Both expressed concerns over the administration's Iraq policies during the two days of hearings that wrapped up this morning.

The full Senate is expected to vote to confirm Rice tomorrow, shortly after the president is sworn in to a second term.

As the committee voted, Secretary of State Colin Powell bid farewell to the people he described as his "family" at the State Department.

He called Rice "a dear friend" and said she would bring "gifted leadership" to the department.