Reuters reported that William Burns was approved in a unanimous voice vote by the U.S Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, the veteran diplomat is to become President Joe Biden’s Central Intelligence Director, Senator Mark Warner, the Democratic committee chair said.
“The overwhelmingly bipartisan vote in Ambassador Burns’ favor is a testament to the nominee’s unquestioned qualifications for the role, long experience in matters of national security, and laudable commitment to public service,” Warner said in a statement.
Warner wished the full senate “will move to confirm Ambassador Burns without any unnecessary delay”, Reuters Quoted Warner.
According to Reuters at a confirmation hearing last month, Burns, a former ambassador to Russia and former deputy secretary of state, said he saw competition with China – and countering its “adversarial, predatory” leadership – as a key to U.S. national security.
While being questioned, Burns said if he were a U.S college or University president, he would recommend shutting down Confucius Institutes, Beijing-funded campus cultural centers that many congress members see as propaganda tools.
“After meeting with Ambassador Burns, I believe he understands the nature of the Chinese threat and the others facing our nation,” the committee’s top Republican, Senator Marco Rubio, said in a statement, Reuters reported.
Burns also told the panel that other “familiar” persistent threats are those by Russia, Iran, and North Korea and cited the dangers of climate change, cyber threats, and global health issues as serious issues.
Reuters said in their report that William Burns and other intelligence chiefs are expected to work closely with the Biden administration on investigating recent hacking attacks of U.S government, private and local government data network breaches.
Avril Haines, Biden’s director of national intelligence confirmed by the Senate in January will lead a broad review of intelligence problems U.S agencies face, including Russia’s role in SolarWinds hacks and in alleged payment of bounties to target US and Allied forces in Afghanistan.