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McCain Releases Hold on Clapper Nomination

Sen. John McCain has released his hold on James Clapper’s nomination to serve as director of national intelligence after receiving an intelligence report he had requested from the Obama administration.

“This afternoon, Senator McCain received the report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that he first requested nearly one year ago, and as a result he is releasing his hold on General Clapper’s nomination,” a statement from the Arizona Republican’s office said. “This report confirms Senator McCain’s longstanding concerns about the poor oversight and cost overruns in intelligence technology programs. Senator McCain will continue to fight to ensure American taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and effectively to strengthen our national security.”

While McCain was the only Member to place a hold on Clapper, GOP Sens. Kit Bond (Mo.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.) also expressed frustrations with the administration.

A retired Air Force lieutenant general serving as undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, Clapper was unanimously approved to serve as director by the Intelligence Committee last week. He was nominated by President Barack Obama in June to fill the post previously held by retired Adm. Dennis Blair. Blair stepped down in May after a rocky 16-month stint during which he had strained relations with White House officials and faced increased scrutiny following the attempted Times Square bombing, the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, and the attempted Christmas bombing of a commercial jet over Detroit.

The director of national intelligence, a job created after 9/11, oversees 16 spy agencies.

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