Spy panel shakeup will add focus on cyber, CIA

The House Intelligence Committee is shaking up its structure to put a new focus on cybersecurity and the CIA, among other areas. 

After an organizing meeting on Wednesday, new leaders of the spy panel announced four new subcommittees that they say will keep better tabs on new threats and ways that the nation’s spies are responding.  

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The new subcommittees unveiled by Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and ranking member Rep. Adam SchiffAdam SchiffOPM, not an outside contractor, discovered massive breach Clinton’s email troubles deepen House passes policy bill for intelligence agencies MORE (D-Calif.) will focus on the CIA; Defense Department Intelligence and Overhead Architecture; Emerging Threats and, finally, Cybersecurity and the National Security Agency (NSA).

“At a time when our nation faces growing threats ranging from terrorist bombings to cyberattacks, these chairmen will serve vital roles in helping to maintain and improve our nation’s intelligence capabilities,” Nunes said in a statement.

“There’s no shortage of issues that will come before Congress this session — from addressing new threats of terrorism at home and around the world, to reforming our surveillance capabilities and oversight, as well as securing and reinforcing our nation’s cybersecurity — and I look forward to working with Chairman Nunes and our colleagues to do everything possible to preserve both our security and privacy,” Schiff added.

The subcommittee on the NSA and Cybersecurity will be chaired by Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.). Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) will be the ranking member.

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) is the new chairman of the CIA subcommittee, which has Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif.) as its top Democrat.

On the subpanel with jurisdiction over the Defense Department’s intelligence agencies, Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) is the chairman and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) is the ranking member.

Finally, Rep. Thomas Rooney (R-Fla.) will chair the Emerging Threats subcommittee, with Rep. Mike Quigley (Ill.) as its top Democrat.

In the last Congress, the Intelligence Committee had three subpanels: the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, the Technical and Tactical Intelligence subcommittee and the subcommittee on Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence.