Cheers, Crowds Greet Clinton at State Department

WASHINGTON (RushPRnews) 01/22/09-Hillary Clinton, now the U.S. secretary of state, has arrived for her first day of work at the U.S. State Department to cheering crowds.Clinton spoke to the throngs of photo-snapping well-wishers, telling them Thursday that the administration of President Barack Obama marks a “new era” for the country.

She applauded the State Department for its work in Washington and around the globe. She said the department’s work will be challenging and will require 21st century tools and solutions to meet the problems and seize opportunities.

Clinton was sworn in Wednesday as secretary of state, after being confirmed by an overwhelming vote in the Senate. Ninety-four senators approved Clinton’s nomination in a confirmation vote Wednesday. There were two “no” votes.

One of the two senators who opposed her nomination – Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina – said he voted “no” because Clinton is expected to support overturning Bush administration rules barring U.S. foreign aid money for groups supporting abortion.

Senator John Cornyn delayed Clinton’s confirmation by one day because of concerns he had over donations to the Clinton Foundation, a charity run by Senator Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton. Cornyn ended up voting in favor of Clinton, but he called for more frequent reporting of foreign gifts to the foundation.

Cornyn had raised concerns that foreign donations to the foundation could influence Clinton’s foreign policy decisions.

The head of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, Democrat John Kerry, said there is no conflict of interest, because neither of the Clintons make money from the work of the foundation.

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