Sens. Richard Lugar and Jack Reed discussed Afghanistan on Sunday's State of the Union. (Photo Credit: CNN)
(CNN) – Indiana Republican Dick Lugar Friday announced he intends to vote for Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court, becoming the first senator in his party to formally state support for President Obama's pick to the high court.
"I have listened to the testimony of Judge Sonia Sotomayor before the Senate Judiciary Committee, carefully reviewed her public service record, and reviewed recommendations from Indiana constituents and colleagues here in the Senate," Lugar said in a statement.
"Judge Sotomayor is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and she has demonstrated a judicial temperament during her week-long nomination hearing. Judge Sotomayor has had a distinguished career of public service," he also said. "She is well regarded in the legal community and by her peers. I will vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States."
While Sotomayor's confirmation appears all but certain, it remains unclear exactly how many Republicans will support the current appeals court judge when her nomination comes up for a vote on the floor.
In the Judiciary Committee, where Sotomayor will face the first vote on her nomination, at least two Republicans have suggested they will support her - Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Orrin Hatch of Utah. That vote could come as early as next week.
– CNN's Evan Glass contributed to this report
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The United States is rushing emergency aid to Pakistan - an initial $5 million - to help people uprooted by the fighting against extremists, according to the State Department.
The U.S. had urged the Pakistanis to launch the military action that in recent days has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their villages.
Meanwhile, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took a longer-term view Tuesday and discussed how the United States might triple aid to Pakistan over the next five years.
The State Department said Tuesday the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan and officials of the U.S. Agency for International Development were evaluating the needs of civilians fleeing the Swat valley and surrounding regions in northwest Pakistan.
"We are of course very concerned about the well-being of civilians who are fleeing the fighting in the area," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said. "And we have personnel, USAID personnel, on the ground in Pakistan, not in the Swat valley, but in Pakistan, who are directing assistance to help them."
"We've provided a substantial amount of money through the International Organization for Migration," Kelly said at his daily briefing in Washington. "This is primarily to provide tents, provide shelter and emergency relief supplies, food and medicine to the affected populations."
Kelly said the $5 million was just an initial payment.
(CNN) – President Obama has chosen a moderate Midwesterner who boasts bipartisan support as his first judicial nominee, the White House announced Tuesday.
The president picked Judge David Hamilton to fill the vacant seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Hamilton has served as a district judge in Indiana for 14 years and was Counsel to Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh while he was governor. He has the backing of both his state’s U.S. senators.
“Judge Hamilton has a long and impressive record of service and a history of handing down fair and judicious decisions,” Obama said in a statement. “He will be a thoughtful and distinguished addition to the 7th circuit and I am extremely pleased to put him forward to serve the people of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.”
Republican Sen. Dick Lugar also expressed support for Obama’s pick.
“I enthusiastically support the Senate confirmation of David Hamilton for U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals,” Lugar said in a statement. “Judge Hamilton has served the Southern District of Indiana with distinction as U.S. District Court Judge.”
(CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton continues to top the short list of possible contenders to be the next Secretary of State under President-elect Barack Obama.
In addition to Clinton, there are several prominent Democrats and even one Republican on CNN’s list:
SEN. JOHN KERRY: The 2004 Democratic presidential nominee has served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for almost 20 years.
DR. SUSAN RICE: A veteran of Bill Clinton’s State Department, Rice was also a senior adviser to Obama’s presidential campaign.
GOV. BILL RICHARDSON: The New Mexico governor was tapped by Bill Clinton to be U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., but Richardson broke with the Clintons when he decided to endorse Obama after ending his own 2008 presidential bid.
SEN. DICK LUGAR: The Republican, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, worked with Obama last year to expand a program that destroys weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union.
SAM NUNN: The former Democratic senator from Georgia currently co-chairs an effort to reduce threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. While in the Senate, Nunn worked with Lugar to destroy weapons of mass destruction amassed by the former Soviet Union.
Click here for additional CNN short lists for Obama’s potential cabinet.
(CNN) - A senior Republican senator is congratulating Democrat Joe Biden on being picked as Barack Obama's running mate.
Sen. Dick Lugar of Indiana put out a statement Saturday saying, "I congratulate Senator Barack Obama on his selection of my friend, Senator Joe Biden, to be his vice-presidential running mate. I have enjoyed for many years the opportunity to work with Joe Biden to bring strong bipartisan support to United States foreign policy."
Lugar made the statement as he was enroute to Tbilisi, the capital of the Republic of Georgia.
Lugar also commented on his fellow senator from Indiana, Democrat Evan Bayh, who was also considered to be on the shortlist of Obama's potential running mates.
"I share the disappointment of many Hoosiers that my partner in the Senate, Evan Bayh, was not selected on this occasion, but I believe he will continue to have widespread support for higher office during many years ahead."
UPDATE: A McCain Campaign aide tells CNN’s Dana Bash that the Senator from Arizona will call Biden at some point this morning to congratulate him.