Dan Coats
Dan CoatsReuters

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats as the next director of national intelligence.

Lawmakers voted 85-12 for Coats, who will become the fifth DNI since the office was created in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, reported Politico.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called Coats "a leader on issues regarding our national security and the intelligence community" during his time in Congress.

"It goes without saying that the president made an excellent choice," he was quoted by Politico as having said.

Coats served eight years in the House of Representatives and two terms in the Senate. He also served as U.S. ambassador to Germany under President George W. Bush.

He announced in March 2015 that he would retire from the Senate when his term ended at the start of this year.

Coats was among a group of Senate Republicans who in September introduced legislation that would withhold funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) until the Secretary of State certifies that it has stopped rewarding terrorists or their families for attacks on Israelis and Americans.

He was also one of several senators who criticized the Obama administration for trying to play down the terrorist threat of Iran.