Senate Confirms Brennan As CIA Director

Not surprisingly, the Senate has confirmed John Brennan as the next CIA Director:

The Senate on Thursday afternoon approved John O. Brennan’s nomination to lead the Central Intelligence Agency by a vote of 63 to 34.

The vote followed a filibuster by Senator Rand Paul, who spent nearly 13 hours on the Senate floor in pursuit of more information about the administration’s domestic drone policy. After receiving a brief letter from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. assuring him that the president does not have the “authority to use a drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil,” Mr. Paul declared his effort a success, and ultimately voted to end debate (though against the nomination), bringing the total votes in favor of cloture to 81 over 16 against.

The final confirmation vote, however, revealed some unusual coalitions.

Two Democrats, Senators Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, as well as Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont, an independent and one of the Senate’s most outspoken liberals, joined Republicans in voting against the nomination. Several of the early participants in Mr. Paul’s filibuster, including Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, and Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, voted to confirm Mr. Brennan’s nomination.

Here’s the final roll call.

This pretty much wraps up the confirmations for the major Cabinet changes for Obama’s second term. Several other positions, such as Energy, Commerce, and Transportation, still need to be filled.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.