The U.S. Senate has confirmed former Indiana Senator Dan Coats as director of intelligence for the Trump administration. Coats, who previously served as U.S. ambassador to Germany and chair of the Joint Economic Committee, was approved Wednesday by an 85-12 vote.
Coats has also served in the U.S. House of Representatives. He chose not to run for re-election last year in the U.S. Senate and his seat was won by former U.S. Representative Todd Young.
The announcement follows another confirmation with a Hoosier connection. On Monday, Seema Verma, who is considered the architect of the Healthy Indiana Plan, was confirmed as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She has a tighter confirmation, receiving a favorable vote of 55-43 in the Senate.
Governor Eric Holcomb issued a statement praising Trump’s selections of Coats and Verma:
It makes Indiana proud to see so many of our own top Hoosier leaders join Vice President Pence in Washington D.C. As our national leaders work through the details of a new plan for health care, Seema Verma is exactly the right person to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Today, I was thrilled to see my friend and mentor Dan Coats confirmed as Director of National Intelligence. He is uniquely qualified and brings a wealth of experience, incredible wit and a strong dose of Hoosier common sense. Our nation will be well served, again, by his leadership.
Both senators from the Indiana Delegation, Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Todd Young (D-IN) voted in favor of confirming Coats and Verma. Last month, Donnelly and Young introduced Verma at the start of the confirmation process.
In a statement about his former colleague in the Senate, Donnelly said:
Dan has stepped up to lead our intelligence community at a critical time. He is eminently qualified for this new role, and I trust he will remain clear-eyed about the threats facing our nation, including Russian attempts to undermine our democracy. I know that Dan will provide his best advice to the president and give our intelligence professionals the leadership they need and deserve.