Jan. 20 (UPI) — The Senate on Wednesday voted to confirm Avril Haines as director of national intelligence, making her the first of President Joe Biden‘s Cabinet nominees to be approved by Congress.
Haines’ confirmation was approved by a vote of 84-10, hours after Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.
“ODNI is excited to welcome Avril Haines as our nation’s seventh Director of National Intelligence,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Twitter account wrote Wednesday night.
Haines, the former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will become the first woman to serve as director of national intelligence.
Upon being inaugurated Wednesday Biden announced his acting federal agency leadership, including Lora Shiao, who will serve as acting director of national intelligence until Haines is sworn in.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said Wednesday that he was confident Haines would “serve honorably” in the role.
“Given the critical importance of the role of the director of national intelligence to our country’s security, it is appropriate that Avril Haines has now become the first member of the new administration to be confirmed by the Senate in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote,” said Warner.
Haines’ confirmation Wednesday night came after Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., raised an objection to her confirmation until she clarified an answer to a question during her Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing regarding the CIA’s interrogation program during George W. Bush‘s administration.
“I agree with the 2013 recommendation that the Central Intelligence Agency indicated and to broaden the approach of accountability review boards that the report identified,” she said.
On Wednesday night Haines provided Cotton with a written response and the senator lifted his hold, saying he had received sufficient assurances to vote on the nomination.