Senate Intelligence Committee approves Patraeus as CIA Director

CIA Director nominee Gen. David Petraeus testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday,June 23, 2011, before the Senate Intelligence Committee during a hearing on his nomination. AP Photo/Cliff Owen

CIA Director nominee Gen. David Petraeus testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday,June 23, 2011, before the Senate Intelligence Committee during a hearing on his nomination.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve Gen. Patraeus as CIA Director.

Petraeus, who for the last year has served as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, will replace outgoing director Leon Panetta at the CIA if, as expected, he is confirmed by the full Senate. Panetta is slated to replace Robert Gates, who is retiring, as Secretary of Defense.

Calling Petraeus "an outstanding public servant and one of our country's finest officers," Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said they hoped Petraeus will be confirmed quickly.

"Gen. Petraeus is an outstanding public servant and one of our country's finest officers," they said in a joint statement. "We look forward to a speedy confirmation this week so Gen. Petraeus can take the reins of the CIA at this critical time for our country." they said in a joint statement.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he hoped to schedule a floor debate and final vote on the nomination this week.

Lt. Gen. John R. Allen, who President Obama nominated to replace Petraeus in Afghanistan, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

The Pentagon is tentatively planning to transition command from Petraeus' to Allen in mid-July, pending both of their confirmations.

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