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 PaulTop House conservatives won't back draft ObamaCare replacement Freedom Caucus chair says he'd vote against draft ObamaCare replacement Paul: Stop 'hysteria' on Trump and Russia MORE (R-Ky.), who has expressed concerns about the FBI's domestic drone program.
Sens. Ron WydenRon WydenMnuchin aiming for tax reform by August Dems rip Trump administration for revoking Obama's transgender directive IPAB’s Medicare cuts will threaten seniors’ access to care MORE (D-Ore.) and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDem 2020 hopefuls lead pack in opposing Trump Cabinet picks Poll: Senate should confirm Gorsuch A guide to the committees: Senate 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 ReidSanders and Schumer are right: Ellison for DNC chair The Hill's 12:30 Report Hopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs 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 GrassleyGOP senator grilled over DeVos vote during town hall Big Pharma must address high drug prices ObamaCare fix hinges on Medicaid clash in Senate 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.