U.S. Senate confirms Blinken as Secretary of State

"The yays are 78, the nays are 22, the nomination is confirmed."

And with that, the U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Joe Biden's nominee, veteran diplomat Antony Blinken, to serve as secretary of state.

Voted in with a simple majority, Blinken will soon be sworn in as the nation's top diplomat.

Blinken is a longtime Biden confidant who has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate before, most recently to serve as No. 2 at the State Department, when Biden was vice president during former Democratic President Barack Obama's administration.

"American leadership still matters. The reality is that the world doesn't organize itself. When we're not engaged, when we don't lead, then one of two things happen: either some other country tries to take our place, but probably not in a way that advances our interests or values. Or no one does, and then you get chaos. Either way, that does not serve the American people."

Last week, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Blinken pledged to work more closely with allies after former President Donald Trump's "America First" approach to foreign affairs.

He also said that he would work to revitalize damaged American diplomacy and build a united front to counter the challenges posed by Russia, China and Iran.

The 100-member Senate is currently divided 50-50, but is controlled by Democrats because Vice President Kamala Harris can break any tie.

During the hearing, both Democrats and Republicans offered praise for the nominee.

Before he joined the Obama administration, Blinken was a committee staff director - when Biden, who spent decades in the Senate, was chairman.