The Senate voted 93-1 Monday to confirm James Comey as head of the FBI.
The only senator to vote against Comey was Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulRand Paul to teach a course on dystopias in George Washington University Destructive 'fat cat' tax law a complete flop. It's time to repeal it. Trump must take action in Macedonia to fix damage done by Obama and Clinton MORE (R-Ky.), who has expressed concerns about the FBI's domestic drone program.
Sens. Ron WydenRon WydenOvernight Tech: Net neutrality fight descends into trench warfare | Zuckerberg visits Ford factory | Verizon shines light on cyber espionage Franken, top Dems blast FCC over net neutrality proposal Trump goes big on tax reform MORE (D-Ore.) and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOvernight Energy: Trump set to sign offshore drilling order Sanders: Trump couldn't be 'more wrong' on climate Overnight Energy: Trump orders review of national monuments, claiming ‘egregious abuse’ MORE (D-Ore.) voted present.
Comey, who worked in the Justice Department under former President George W. Bush, will succeed outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller.
The new director is perhaps best known for his opposition to the Bush warrantless wiretapping program. He also argued against the use of water boarding as an interrogation method.
Earlier Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDraft House bill ignites new Yucca Mountain fight Week ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road MORE (D-Nev.) said he was “disappointed” that he had to file a cloture motion on Comey’s nomination.
But by the end of Monday, Republicans had agreed to hold the up-or-down vote on his nomination rather than a procedural vote to end debate.
Committee ranking member Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyComey to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee GOP to kill language exempting staff from new ObamaCare repeal bill House cyber chairman wants to bolster workforce MORE (R-Iowa) said he would support Comey’s nomination, but that this was “a serious decision” for the chamber. Grassley said that Congress’s constitutional right to “advise and consent” to executive nominees was not the same as “rubber stamping.”
Leahy vowed to push Comey, as FBI director, to limit domestic surveillance programs under the Patriot Act, which have come under recent criticism when it was leaked that the government obtained phone records of many U.S. citizens.
“Just because the federal government can collect huge amounts of data, doesn’t mean they should be,” Leahy said.