Senate Confirms Avril Haines, Biden’s Pick For Director Of National Intelligence

GETTY IMAGES/Nominated Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines participates as US President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a cabinet announcement event in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 24, 2020. - US President-elect Joe Biden introduced November 24, 2020 a seasoned national security team he said was prepared to resume US leadership of the world after the departure of President Donald Trump. "It's a team that will keep our country and our people safe and secure," Biden said, introducing his picks for secretary of state, national security advisor, intelligence chief, and other key cabinet jobs"It's a team that reflects the fact that America is back. Ready to lead the world, not retreat from it," Biden said. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

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Andrew Trunsky Political Reporter
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The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Avril Haines, President Joe Biden’s director of national intelligence, on Wednesday evening.

Haines was confirmed 84-10, and is the first Biden Cabinet nominee to be confirmed, the Washington Post reported.

The vote came one day after Haines’ hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and was in limbo much of Wednesday due to Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton’s earlier objection to her swift confirmation over an answer she gave during her hearing regarding the CIA’s interrogation program during President George W. Bush’s administration.

Cotton withdrew his objection after she clarified her answer, and the vote was announced by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday afternoon. Haines will be the first woman to serve as the director of national intelligence.

President Joe Biden sits in the Oval Office as he signs a series of orders at the White House in Washington, DC, after being sworn in at the US Capitol on January 20, 2021. (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

In addition to Haines, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is also expected to be confirmed quickly, but the timetables for Biden’s other nominees remain unclear.

Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have yet to reach a compromise on how they will share power in the chamber given its 50-50 split, possibly stalling the confirmation votes of Biden’s other Cabinet secretaries as a result. (RELATED: Democrats Officially Have A Majority In The Senate)

Some of Biden’s nominees may also face roadblocks from Republican senators. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said on Tuesday that he would block the expedited confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden’s nominee for the Department of Homeland Security, over an answer he gave regarding the border wall during his hearing on Tuesday.

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