WASHINGTON — Here’s how the state’s senators voted during the week that ended Friday. The House was in recess.
Confirming director of intelligence: On a 49-44 party-line vote, the Senate on Thursday confirmed Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, as the nation’s top intelligence official. He becomes the sixth director of national intelligence (DNI) since the office was created after 9/11 to improve coordination among the 17 U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies. Ratcliffe, 54, defended President Donald Trump during House impeachment hearings last year, prompting Democratic senators to question whether he would independently oversee the nation’s spy apparatus or, instead, shape intelligence to please the White House. But Republicans said his membership on the House Select Committee on Intelligence and background as a federal prosecutor qualify him to become DNI, and they pointed to his pledge of independence during Senate confirmation hearings.
Voting no: Maria Cantwell, D
Not voting: Patty Murray, D
Confirming an election commissioner: On a 49-43 party-line vote, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed James Trainor III of Austin, Texas, for a seat on the Federal Election Commission (FEC), a post-Watergate panel charged with enforcing campaign-finance laws in federal contests. The FEC discloses candidates’ campaign-finance data to the public, enforces rules for campaign contributions and spending and supervises the public funding of presidential elections. An attorney specializing in election law, Trainor advised Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He becomes the fourth member of the six-member FEC, giving it a quorum for conducting business for the first time since late August.
Voting no: Cantwell, Murray