Senate Approves Key Security Posts

The Senate confirmed Dan Coats, a former Republican senator and President Donald Trump’s nominee, to become director of national intelligence on Wednesday. The 85-12 vote makes Coats the fifth DNI, replacing James Clapper, who announced his plans to step down in November 2016, according to NPR. Coats will oversee 16 members of the intelligence community, among them the FBI, CIA, and NSA. Coat’s office, which was created by 2004 legislation, states that its goal is to integrate efforts, make operations efficient, and communicate succinctly with the White House. For 2016, DNI requested $53.9 billion for its national intelligence program, or the part of the budget addressing the Intelligence Community. It received $53 billion. According to USA Today, Arizona Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Coats would be effective in his capacity as director and would re-establish US intel credibility. The Senate also voted 86-10 to allow Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to retain his military rank while serving as White House national security adviser for President Donald Trump. While McMaster did not need Senate confirmation to begin his new role, he did need Senate approval to remain on Active Duty while serving in that capacity.