Appointments, Confirmations & Budgets

Central Intelligence Agency / Ben Balter (background)

Beneath the high-profile conflicts over civil liberties or targeted killings, a myriad more mundane decisions lie at the intersection of national security and the law. Our constitutional process requires the advice and consent of the Senate for many high-level executive positions, including those responsible for national security, and each year, Congress must pass a budget that includes funding for the armed forces and intelligence agencies. Sometimes these confirmation and budgetary battles become proxy fights for larger and deeper disagreements, and often, they simply reflect the petty partisan politics of the age.

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National Security Agency (NSA)

How Did a Trump Loyalist Come to Be Named NSA General Counsel—And What Should Biden Do About It?

Trump political appointee Michael Ellis has been named to an important career position. Congress should investigate the suspicious circumstances of the selection, and the Biden transition should think carefully about what to do on Jan. 20.

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