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Republicans Drop Efforts to Block Intelligence Nominee

Two Senate Republican holdouts gave the go-ahead Thursday to clear the nomination of James Clapper to serve as the director of national intelligence.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who was seeking classified intelligence information regarding detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, told reporters, “We got everything we need.” And Intelligence Committee ranking member Kit Bond (R-Mo.), who previously threatened he would “consider all tools available” to hold up the nomination, said he didn’t foresee any problems moving ahead before the Senate adjourns for the August break.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who sought similar intelligence information, placed a hold on Clapper’s nomination but dropped it on Tuesday after receiving a report from the Obama administration. Neither Coburn nor Bond formally placed a hold on Clapper, whose nomination was approved unanimously by the Intelligence panel last week.

Democratic and Republican leaders are continuing to work out an agreement on a package of nominations to clear before adjourning for the five-week recess. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) met privately with President Barack Obama on Wednesday to discuss the broader issue of clearing nominations, a process Obama reportedly complained was moving at too slow a pace.

The Senate is expected to confirm Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court later Thursday.

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