Congressman John Ratcliffe was confirmed by the US Senate today to become President Trump’s Director of National Intelligence by a vote of 49 to 44 — which was down party lines.
In this position, Ratcliffe will serve as the head of the US Intelligence Community which features seventeen members, direct and oversee the National Intelligence Program and advise the president on matters related to national security and intelligence.
He will replace acting director Richard Grenell who took over for former Indiana Senator Dan Coats in the summer of 2019.
Prior to his confirmation, Ratcliffe represented Texas’s 4th congressional district in Congress since 2014 after a career as a private practice attorney specializing in injury law, medical & product liability, and business litigation.
Ratcliffe also served four terms as mayor of Heath, TX which is outside of Dallas.
Democrats and critics of Ratcliffe’s nomination have said he is unqualified or doesn’t meet the “statutory requirement of expertise in national security” to be the Director of National Intelligence. However, he did have a stint as Chief of Anti-Terrorism and National Security for the Eastern District of Texas, under the U.S. Department of Justice during the George W. Bush presidency. He also sat on the Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Intelligence committees during his time in Congress.
President Trump originally nominated Ratcliffe in July 2019 but withdrew the nomination in August after some Democrats publicly questioned his qualifications. In February, Trump re-nominated Ratcliffe for the post.