(PresidentialWire)- The Senate has confirmed President Joe Biden’s first Cabinet nominee — Avril Haines.
Haines will serve as the director of national intelligence. She’s not only the first Cabinet member to be confirmed by the Senate; she also will be the first woman to lead the U.S. intelligence community.
Hours after Biden was sworn into the White House, the Senate confirmed Haines by a vote of 84-10.
Haines appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday for her hearing. During that hearing, she said she’d “set a strategic vision” for the intelligence community that would ensure the U.S. is “well postured to address developing threats and take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.”
Haines is no stranger to government — or to a Biden team. She served as the principal deputy national security adviser as well as deputy director of the CIA under the Obama administration. Haines was the first woman to serve in both of those roles as well.
Under her lead, Haines said she’d ensure the intelligence community “has the capacity to understand, warn, protect and defend the United States against the threats we face.”
She said America faces various threats, from “traditional state actors” to other “evolving” threats such as “climate change, cyber attacks, terrorism, global organized crime and corruption, disinformation campaigns and more.”
During her testimony, Haines said:
“We should provide the necessary intelligence to support long-term bipartisan efforts to out-compete China — gaining and sharing insight into China’s intentions and capabilities, while also supporting more immediate efforts to counter Beijing’s unfair, illegal, aggressive and coercive actions, as well as its human rights violations, wherever we can.”
Haines further said she would be more committed to educating Americans on the malign foreign influence campaigns China consistently launches against the United States.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was happy that they were able to confirm Haines so quickly, as it’s an extremely important position to a president and the country as a whole. As the committee’s acting chairman, Senator Marco Rubio, said in a statement:
“The DNI is the focal point for intelligence integration and is crucial to our national security. Our adversaries will not stand by and wait for the new administration to staff critical positions, and I am pleased my Senate colleagues joined me in swiftly confirming Director Haines to this important post.
“I look forward to working with Director Haines as she oversees the efforts of our nation’s 18 intelligence agencies, including efforts to comprehensively address the multifaceted national security and counterintelligence threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Biden was hoping that Haines would at the very least be confirmed by Inauguration Day. The Biden transition team was urging the Senate to push forward with Haines’ confirmation, as she is a key part of the national security.
Haines was the only Cabinet nominee to be confirmed on Inauguration Day. In 2017, former President Donald Trump had two nominees confirmed — his secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security.