Nelson wins Intel seat

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTrump presses GOP to change Senate rules Only thing Defense’s UFO probe proves is power of political favors Nevada Democrat accused of sexual harassment reconsiders retirement: report MORE (D-Nev.) yesterday named Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonJuan Williams: Students change the tide on guns Republicans insist tax law will help in midterms Trump gives jolt to push for military ‘space force’ MORE (D-Fla.) to the Intelligence Committee for the 110th Congress, as Nelson continues on a multi-nation Middle East codel that will include a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Nelson will join Sen.-elect Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Energy: Zinke grilled on travel, offshore drilling plans | Pruitt says California can't dictate emissions standard | Dems sound off on elephant trophy policy Overnight Energy: Dems probe EPA security contract | GAO expands inquiry into EPA advisory boards | Dems want more time to comment on drilling plan Opioid crisis spurs Medicaid funds push MORE (D-R.I.) as the new members of the Intelligence panel, with Sen. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinSen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some Democrats The Hill's 12:30 Report Congress needs bipartisanship to fully investigate Russian influence MORE (D-Mich.) shifting to the ex-officio status that is traditional for Armed Services Committee chairmen.

“The security of our country depends largely on accurate and timely intelligence,” said Nelson, who was informed of the appointment while in Israel, in a statement. His meeting with al-Assad, slated for tomorrow, likely will be the first between the Syrian leader and a U.S. lawmaker since last week’s Iraq Study Group report recommended initiating diplomatic dialogues with Syria and Iran.

Other nations on Nelson’s itinerary include Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Iraq.