Extension of FBI Director’s Term Advances

Posted July 21, 2011 at 6:20pm

The Senate passed legislation Thursday evening that would extend the term of FBI Director Robert Mueller after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) dropped his hold on the measure.

The voice vote occurred a few hours after Mueller met with the Kentucky Republican.

A Paul aide familiar with the matter said Wednesday that the meeting was intended as a forum for Mueller to respond to questions that the Senator wanted answered before he would release his hold. The aide indicated that Paul’s intent was not to block the extension but to obtain the requested information.

Mueller’s 10-year term expires in August, and the bill to extend it by two years is part one of a two-part agreement. The Senate will also hold a confirmation vote after both chambers clear the bill, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in remarks on the floor Thursday that the vote was forthcoming.

Even though Paul lifted the hold on the bill, he said in a statement that he plans to vote “no” on it. “I am opposed to changing the term limits on this important position, which serve as a safeguard and check against the significant power of the position,” he said.

But his opposition ends there, he added. “I am not opposed to Director Mueller and will not oppose his renomination, but I do oppose the idea that term limits should be changed when it is convenient,” Paul said.