The Senate Intelligence Committee will vote Tuesday on Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeSenate panel schedules vote for Trump intel pick Ratcliffe for next week The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Former Rep. Harman says Russia is trying to exploit America; Mylan’s Heather Bresch says US should make strategic reserve in medicines; Trump unveils leaders of ‘Warp Speed’ Coronavirus Report: The Hill’s Steve Clemons interviews Jane Harman MORE‘s (R-Texas) nomination to be the next director of national intelligence.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi stresses urgency for next relief bill: Hunger, joblessness don’t ‘take a pause’ Sanders says coronavirus relief bill should include paycheck guarantee Newsom says federal government has ‘ethical obligation’ to send states funding amid coronavirus MORE (R-Ky.) announced the committee vote from the floor on Monday.
“This role is essential for monitoring and countering evolving threats from Russia to China to terrorist groups and for ensuring the intelligence community’s important work is not tainted by partisan bias or political weaponization,” McConnell said.
The vote will come less than a week after Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrSenate panel schedules vote for Trump intel pick Ratcliffe for next week On The Money: Hopes fade for coronavirus relief deal this month | Burr problem grows for GOP | Layoffs hit record high of 11 million in March Hillicon Valley: Commerce announces new Huawei restrictions | Russian meddling report round five | Google’s ad business in spotlight MORE (R-N.C.) stepped down as chairman of the Intelligence Committee pending the outcome of a federal investigation into stock sales the GOP senator made earlier this month.
McConnell did not say during his speech who he would name to succeed Burr, but he told Fox News last week that he would name his replacement “sometime soon.”
Ratcliffe is expected to narrowly win a favorable recommendation from the Intelligence Committee after Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump tears into ’60 Minutes’ after segment with whistleblower Bright The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by The American Investment Council – House to vote today on largest relief bill in US history Burr decision sends shock waves through Senate MORE (R-Maine) said earlier this month that she would support his nomination.
“I interviewed him at great length over the phone when we were out of Washington,” Collins told The Hill. “I asked him then and again yesterday a series of tough questions about whether he would be independent, present unvarnished analysis to the president and Congress, and he said he would.”
Republicans hold a one-seat majority on the Intelligence Committee. No Democrat has said they will vote for Ratcliffe.
Democrats said during Ratcliffe’s confirmation hearing that he did not directly answer their questions.
“He was … very well briefed but I just don’t see any evidence that he’s going to speak truth to power,” Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenJustice Department signals opposition to Senate’s surveillance bill Hillicon Valley: Senate votes to reauthorize intel programs with added protections | ACLU calls on House to block warrantless web browsing surveillance | Dems introduce COVID-19 privacy bill ACLU calls on House to revive measure blocking warrantless web browsing surveillance MORE (D-Ore.) told reporters after the hearing.
Trump initially said last year that he intended to nominate Ratcliffe to the post, but the Texas congressman withdrew his name from consideration amid reports that he inflated his résumé.
He’s gained a reputation as a loyalist to Trump, including serving as part of a group of House Republicans who were advisers to the president’s impeachment team.