January 27th, 2009
04:01 PM ET
3 months ago

Hearing set for CIA nominee next week

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WASHINGTON (CNN) - The confirmation process for President Barack Obama's choice to be CIA director is back on track after a delay in paperwork.

Leon Panetta has now provided all of the material needed by the Senate Intelligence Committee to go forward with his confirmation hearing, according to a Senate aide familiar with the process but not authorized to talk for attribution.

The hearing had been scheduled for this week, but was postponed to give Panetta more time to complete work on what the Senate aide called a "voluminous package of materials," including a lengthy questionnaire. Since Intelligence Committee rules require nominees to submit all information at least seven days prior to a hearing, Panetta is now scheduled to go before the committee next Tuesday, the Senate aide said.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor noted that Panetta was nominated less than three weeks ago, and any small delay in submitting all the required materials was caused by the death of Panetta's mother-in-law.

Panetta's nomination initially created a stir on Capitol Hill. The incoming and outgoing chairmen of the Intelligence Committee complained the Obama team never consulted them about the nomination and questioned whether Panetta was the best choice.

Both Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Jay Rockefeller said they preferred a nominee who had experience in the intelligence community. Panetta spent 16 years as a member of Congress before moving over to the executive branch, where he served as President Bill Clinton's budget director and later as his chief of staff.

After a meeting with then-President-elect Obama, Feinstein said she would support the nomination.

Panetta is likely to get some tough questions about his experience during his Senate hearing, but he is expected to be easily confirmed. Until then, CIA Director Michael Hayden will stay on the job.


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soundoff (One Response)
  1. the thought police

    Poor President Obama,he will never find out what goes on in this outfit,they control the world and all living creatures on it.

    January 27, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |