The Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously approved the nomination of James Comey to be director of the FBI, clearing the way for a full Senate vote.
The 18-0 committee vote will send Comey's nomination to the Senate floor. The soonest that vote could take place would be early next week.
President Obama nominated the 52-year-old Comey in June to succeed outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Comey spent 15 years as a federal prosecutor before serving as the no. 2 official in the Justice Department of President George W. Bush. He is best known for resisting that administration's demands for warrantless wiretapping.
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, praised Comey and thanked Republicans for helping to expedite his nomination.