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Republicans Stall Vote on Intel Chief Clapper


The James Clapper confirmation saga keeps rolling along: The Associated Press is reporting that "Senate Republicans are trying to wring concessions out of the White House before agreeing to vote on the President Barack Obama's top intelligence nominee."

Congress is about to begin its August break, and Democrats have been holding out hope they could get Clapper nominated as Director of National Intelligence before they left town.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) released his hold on Clapper yesterdayafter receiving a report he requested. McCain's office has declined to specify what the report was about, but CBS News Chief Political Consultant Marc Ambinder reports it relates to a top secret satellite program.

But that wasn't the only roadblock, it turns out: The AP notes that Sen. Tom Coburn temporarily blocked the nomination and other Republicans are threatening to follow suit. An unnamed Senate staffer told the wire service that the lawmakers want the White House to share classified information, including threat assessments on detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison facility, before a vote.

Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously approved Clapper's nomination. He is expected to be confirmed once he comes up for a vote before the full Senate.