The Senate has cleared the way for confirmation of John Brennan to head the CIA after the Obama administration bowed to Republican demands and specified limits on the president's authority to order drone strikes against American citizens on U.S. soil.
A vote was set for later Thursday.
Brennan's nomination demonstrated more than enough support to clear the Senate shortly after Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who had staged an attention-commanding filibuster across 13 hours.
Paul declared he was satisfied with Holder's note, adding on CNN that, quote: "it took a root canal to get it" - a reference to his marathon stand on the Senate floor. The Senate then voted 81-16 to move the nomination to a final vote, well over the 60 needed.