Jan 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senate postpones confirmation hearing for Biden intel pick Avril Haines

Avril Haines

Avril Haines. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate Intelligence Committee has postponed a confirmation hearing — originally scheduled for Friday — for President-elect Biden's nominee for director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, until next week.

Why it matters: Biden's team has pushed for swift confirmation hearings for his national security nominees, especially in the context of last week's attack on the Capitol, threats of violence surrounding next week's inauguration and global political tensions.

  • The hearing was slated to take place in a virtual setting, which would have required the consent of all senators who sit on the panel.
  • Haines, who served as CIA deputy director from 2013 to 2015, and deputy national security adviser from 2015 to 2017, would be the first woman to lead the intelligence community.

What they're saying: "Despite the unusual circumstances on Capitol Hill, the committee is working in good faith to move this nominee as fast as possible and ensure the committee's members have an opportunity to question the nominee in both open and closed settings," Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top two senators on the committee, said in a joint statement.

  • "The Director of National Intelligence plays a crucial role in overseeing the 18 agencies that make up our nation's Intelligence Community, and the committee looks forward to holding a hearing next week with Ms. Haines."
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