The New York Times reported that the vote took place in a closed committe meeting and came after the White House agreed to provide more details regarding its legal basis for targeted killings of Americans who are suspected terrorists. Brennan’s nomination could get a vote from the full Senate by the end of the week.
Both the public and lawmakers were awaiting Brennan’s confirmation hearings last month, because they were hoping for a discussion on how America carries out its drone operations and about its past practice of waterboarding, which some human rights groups have considered torture.
That hearing had to temporarily recess early after several protesters from Code Pink lashed out at the number of civilian deaths resulting from drone strikes.
The nominee didn’t provide any new information on drone operations but said he was against enhanced interrogation techniques. Brennan also said the U.S. should acknowledge civilians killed in drone warfare and that he will be honest when working with Congress.
Brennan, 57, currently serves as the top counterterrorism adviser to the White House. If confirmed by the full Senate, Brennan would replace Michael Morell, the spy agency’s deputy director who has been acting director since Gen. David Petraeus resigned in November, citing an extramarital affair with his biographer.