The Senate Intelligence Committee approved Tuesday the appointment of John Brennan as CIA director, which clears the way for his final confirmation after weeks of delay.
The vote in the committee was 12-3 in favor of sending the nomination on to the full Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said a floor vote will probably come by the end of this week.
The confirmation process has been delayed by senators' requests for more information about the use of drones to kill suspected terrorists, a strategy Brennan has promoted from his post as adviser to President Barack Obama on antiterrorist matters.
Despite the committee's backing for Brennan, several Republicans are still unlikely to support his final confirmation.
Arizona Sen. John McCain has not favored Brennan's nomination because of the nominee's previous public endorsement of so-called enhanced interrogation.
The process of confirming Brennan was twice stalled because of the insistence of some senators on the need for more information from the White House about the "modus operandi" of drone attacks.
On Tuesday the chair of the Intelligence Committee, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, said the White House has promised to reveal new information about the rules governing the use of drones.
During the confirmation hearing, Brennan had to field questions about his role in promoting drone attacks, including a 2011 strike that killed U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.
Though U.S. officials say al-Awlaki had an operational role in al-Qaeda, he was never charged with a crime. EFE