The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to reconfirm FBI director Robert S. Mueller, extending his tenure until September 2013.
President Barack Obama resubmitted Mueller’s name to the Senate Tuesday after signing legislation that created a special two-year term for the director.
The White House has pushed to keep Mueller in the position in order to maintain the continuity of the president’s national security team until the end of his term.
Mueller was appointed by President George W. Bush on Aug. 3, 2001, but he didn’t formally take office until Sept. 4, just a week before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. His term was set to expire shortly before midnight on Aug. 2.
The White House initially planned to pass a straight-forward extension of the director’s term. But that plan faced opposition from a group of Senate Republicans led by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who feared a simple extension would violate constitutional boundaries. In response, the White House agreed to alter the bill to create a special two-year term for Mueller, subject to Senate confirmation.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) also briefly held up the bill, asking for a personal meeting with Mueller to discuss FBI policies. Paul released his hold shortly after the discussion.