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 PaulWhat the 'Bernie Sanders wing of the GOP' can teach Congress GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election How low is the bar for presidential candidates, anyway? MORE (R-Ky.), who has expressed concerns about the FBI's domestic drone program.
Sens. Ron WydenRon WydenDem pushes Treasury for info on Syria sanctions The holy grail of tax policy Senators urge resolution of US, Canada softwood lumber deal MORE (D-Ore.) and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySanders warns Clinton: Don't rush to compromise with GOP Overnight Healthcare: Top ObamaCare lobbyists reject 'public option' push | Groups sound alarm over Medicare premium hike Top ObamaCare lobbyists reject 'public option' push 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 ReidNevada's Heck won't say who he's backing for president GOP groups ride to rescue in 3 key Senate races Obama seeks down-ballot gains after being midterm loser 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 GrassleyFreeing the False Claims Act Key GOP chairman calls for 'robust review' of AT&T-Time Warner deal Report: Investor visa program mainly funds wealthy areas 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.