In 93-1 vote, Senate confirms FBI nominee

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 PaulTrump flexes new digital muscle Republicans question Trump's trip to Scotland Hate TV customer service? So does your senator MORE (R-Ky.), who has expressed concerns about the FBI's domestic drone program.

Sens. Ron WydenRon WydenA bipartisan bright spot we can’t afford to pass up: child welfare reform Republican chairman: Our tax reform plan fits with Trump's vision Post Orlando, hawks make a power play MORE (D-Ore.) and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyThe Hill's 12:30 Report Key Sanders ally: Time to get behind Clinton Dem Senate campaign chair endorses Clinton 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 ReidAbortion ruling roils race for the White House, Senate Dem senator urges support for House Puerto Rico bill Reid: McConnell silence on Trump 'speaks volumes' 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.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahySenate Dems rip GOP on immigration ruling Bernie Sanders’s awkward return to the Senate Senate heads toward internet surveillance fight MORE (D-Vt.) said this would have been the first FBI director nominee “to be filibustered in Senate history.”

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“Republicans shouldn’t let politics get in the way of confirming the next director of the FBI,” Leahy said. “I believe James Comey is the man to lead the FBI.”

Committee ranking member Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyOvernight Tech: Judiciary leaders question internet transition plan | Clinton to talk tech policy | Snowden's robot | Trump's big digital plans Dozens of senators push EPA for higher ethanol mandate Civil liberties group mobilizes against surveillance amendment 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.

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