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John Kerry testifies before Senate’s Foreign Relations panel he chairs

FILE - In this Dec. 20 2012 file phoSenate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry D-Mass. leads hearing attack U.S. consulate

FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2012 file photo, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., leads a hearing on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee meets Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, to consider the nomination of Kerry to be secretary of state. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Updated: January 24, 2013 10:37AM

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of state says it’s imperative for the United States get its fiscal house in order to lead worldwide.

In prepared testimony, Democratic Sen. John Kerry tells the Foreign Relations Committee that, quote, “foreign policy is economic policy.” He spoke Thursday at his confirmation hearing.

Kerry described himself as humble, testifying before the panel he has served on for 28 years — and led as chairman for the last four.

He discussed the life-threatening issue of climate change. He also says it is critical the U.S. prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Obama chose Kerry to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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