(CNN) - Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, is expected to become the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee if and when the current chairman, Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, is confirmed as secretary of state, two Senate Democratic aides told CNN.
Menendez is in line to get the high-profile assignment because Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, who is the most senior Democrat on the committee behind Kerry, wants to remain chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, according to a top Boxer aide.
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President Barack Obama nominated Kerry Friday.
Kerry will remain chairman until he is confirmed, his office said.