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Senate panel votes to move Brennan's CIA nomination forward

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted on Tuesday in favor of John O. Brennan's nomination to become the next director of the CIA, clearing the way for his confirmation before the whole Senate.

The intelligence panel voted 12-3 in a closed-door session to favorably report Brennan, the Homeland Security adviser to President Barack Obama. Tuesday's vote could clear the way for Brennan's confirmation as soon as this week.

The three senators voting against Brennan's nomination in committee, all Republicans, were Sens. Jim Risch (Idaho), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.). Chambliss is the committee vice chairman and said he would be explaining his "no" vote on the Senate floor in the coming days.

Brennan faces some measure of rare, bipartisan resistance from Republicans who wish for more information from Obama about the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi and liberals who want more details about Brennan's role in advising covert drone strikes against terrorist targets.

If any of those senators object to moving forward with Brennan's nomination before the whole Senate, it would trigger the same 60-vote threshold -- a de-facto filibuster -- to which now-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's nomination was subjected.

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