The Senate voted Thursday to confirm the nomination of Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas to become President Donald Trump's director of National Intelligence.
Ratcliffe's nomination was approved by a party-line vote of 49-44. The number of "nay" votes from Democrats was the largest ever opposing a DNI nomination since the post was created in 2004.
He will replace acting DNI Richard Grenell as chief of the nation's 17 intelligence agencies as the director of national intelligence.
Grenell, who is also the U.S. ambassador to Germany, has held the DNI post since February.
Ratcliffe, who has been an ardent defender of Trump during multiple investigations of the president, will be the first permanent spy chief since Dan Coats stepped down last August,
Trump nominated Ratcliffe after Coats resigned, but dropped the nomination after concerns were raised about the congressman's lack of experience and partisanship, as well as about claims of his career as a federal prosecutor.
Ratcliffe had said on his website that he "put terrorists in prison." But NBC News reported last year that there is no evidence he ever prosecuted a terrorism case.
The president resubmitted his nomination this year.
Ratcliffe, who was elected to Congress in 2015, was a member of the team that defended Trump during impeachment proceedings.
At his confirmation hearing on May 5, Ratcliffe tried to assuage concerns about his independence by saying he would not "shade intelligence for anyone."
"The intelligence I provide, if confirmed, will not be impacted or altered as a result of outside influence," Ratcliffe said.