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Senate committee approves Ratcliffe to lead U.S. intelligence community, sets up final floor vote

The GOP congressman now faces a final vote in the Republican-led Senate.

John Ratcliffe
Rep. John Ratcliffe at Senate confirmation hearing for top U.S. intelligence post
Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:48pm

The Senate Intelligence committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of Rep. John Ratcliffe to be the Director of National Intelligence, sending the nomination to the Senate floor for a final confirmation vote.

The GOP-led committee forwarded the Texas Republican’s nomination in an 8-7, party-line vote.

In the committee’s confirmation hearing last week, Democrats grilled Ratcliffe, a loyal Trump supporter, about whether he, if confirmed, could provide unbiased intelligence while serving under a president who has been openly skeptical of the U.S. intelligence community.

Trump has long suggested the intelligence community is undermined by a “deep state” of officials opposed to his presidency.  

If confirmed, Ratcliffe would replace former Indiana GOP Sen. Dan Coats, who resigned in July 2019.

Trump has since installed Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, as acting director.

Trump pulled Ratcliffe's nomination in August amid bipartisan questions about whether he was qualified to oversee 17 U.S. spy agencies.