NY Republican says cybersecurity will be a high priority for Homeland Security panel
© Greg Nash

Rep. John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoBiden officials urge patience on immigration amid border surge Lawmakers line up behind potential cyber breach notification legislation Lawmakers blame SolarWinds hack on 'collective failure' to prioritize cybersecurity MORE (R-N.Y.) on Thursday said cybersecurity will be a top priority this year for the House Homeland Security Committee, where he's the top Republican.

Katko, speaking at The Hill’s “Advancing Innovation: Technology Leading the Way” event, said both domestic and foreign hackers pose a major security threat to U.S. households.

“Any home may have dozens of different devices that have access to the internet, and that creates, that compels a vulnerability. And so, getting hacks, domestically or foreign, are probably one of our biggest national security threats right now,” Katko told The Hill’s Steve Clemons.

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"Cybersecurity is our biggest threat and we’re going to make it a very high priority in this term,” he added.

Katko also discussed how the coronavirus pandemic has underscored the importance of cybersecurity, particularly as certain sectors with sensitive information become more popular.

“If there is any silver lining out of this tragedy it’s that telehealth has come of age, remote working has come of age...a lot more can be done remotely," said Katko.

Katko, who was in the news earlier this week for being the first GOP lawmaker to come out in support of impeaching President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE, also discussed the link between trade and tech issues.

“If we’re exporting our products to other countries and those products are nailing us with tariffs and we’re not on a level playing field then I agree with [Trump.] But we've got to recognize this is a global economy,” he said.

Trump made trade a focal point of both his 2016 presidential campaign and much of his presidency, sparking trade wars with countries like China but also striking trade deals with countries like Mexico and Canada. 

“We do have to try and continue to strive to strike the balance between leveling the playing fields internationally and also not being so restrictive that we are not able to compete,” Katko added at the event sponsored by the Information Technology Industry Council.

Updated on Friday at 10:07 a.m.