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Bush CIA Pick Clears Senate Panel

A Senate panel on Tuesday approved the nomination of Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., to head the CIA, overcoming Democrats' objections that Goss was too political for the job.

The Senate Intelligence Committee of eight Democrats and nine Republicans approved the nomination, 12-4, with four Democrats voting no and one senator making no recommendation.

The full Senate is expected to confirm Goss as early as Wednesday, reports CBS News Correspondent Bob Fuss.

Goss will lead a CIA that is under fire and in the process of being radically restructured by Congress. Goss will succeed George Tenet, who resigned as CIA director in June amid fallout from Sept. 11 intelligence failures and criticism of Iraq intelligence mistakes.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., the committee vice chairman, on Monday brought two thick binders of statements to Goss' confirmation hearing to argue his belief that President Bush's choice to head the CIA is too political for the job.

Goss served as House Intelligence chairman for nearly eight years. He would be only the second CIA director who served in Congress, after former president and House member George H.W. Bush.

Even before President Bush nominated Goss in August, Democrats complained that Goss lacked the independence to lead the U.S. intelligence community.

Republican Senate Intelligence Chairman Pat Roberts said Monday that Goss is independent, nonpartisan and aggressive — and qualified for duty outside Congress.