WASHINGTON — Here's how Virginia's U.S. senators voted during the legislative week ending May 22. The House was in recess.
Ratliffe for intelligence chief. On a party-line vote of 49-44, the Senate on May 21 confirmed Rep. John L. Ratcliffe, R-Texas, as the nation's top intelligence official. He becomes the sixth director of national intelligence since the office was created after 9/11 to improve coordination among the 17 U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies. Ratcliffe, 54, ardently defended President Donald Trump during House impeachment hearings last year, prompting Democratic senators to question whether he would independently oversee the American spy apparatus or, instead, shape intelligence to please the White House. But Republicans said his membership on the House Select Committee on Intelligence and background as a federal prosecutor qualify him to become DNI, and they pointed to his pledge of independence during Senate confirmation hearings.
A yes vote was to confirm Ratcliffe.
Voting no: Mark R. Warner (D); Tim Kaine (D).
Trainor for election commissioner. On a party-line vote of 49 for and 43 against, the Senate on May 19 confirmed James E. Trainor III of Austin, Texas, for a seat on the Federal Election Commission, a post-Watergate panel charged with enforcing campaign-finance laws in federal contests. The FEC discloses candidates' campaign-finance data to the public, enforces rules for campaign contributions and spending and supervises the public funding of presidential elections. An attorney specializing in election law, Trainor advised Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. He becomes the fourth member of the six-member FEC, giving it a quorum for conducting business for the first time since late August. There was no Senate floor debate on Trainor's nomination.
A yes vote was to confirm the nominee.
Voting no: Warner; Kaine.