Warren joining Armed Services Committee next year
© Haiyun Jiang

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenMisguided recusal rules lock valuable leaders out of the Pentagon Biden's soft touch with Manchin, Sinema frustrates Democrats Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Congress makes technology policy moves MORE will join the Armed Services Committee next year, a move that will allow the Massachusetts Democrat to bolster her foreign policy and defense credentials.  

Warren announced on Wednesday that she will join the powerful panel, which is responsible for approving President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE's Pentagon and military nominees, in the next Congress. 
"All three of my brothers served in the military, and I understand the sacrifices America's servicemembers make to defend our country—and the important work that our Defense Department does to keep Americans safe," she said in a statement. 
Warren said that as a member of the committee, she'll focus on "making sure Congress provides effective support and oversight of the Armed Forces, monitors threats to national security, and ensures the responsible use of military force around the globe." 
Warren's announcement comes as lawmakers reshuffle their committee assignments to include incoming senators and as Republicans face a caucus that will shrink from 54 to 52 seats. 
The move is a shift from Warren's heavy focus on the economy, where her public push to crackdown on Wall Street helped make her a liberal icon. 
She currently sits on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee; the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee; the Special Committee on Aging; and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 
Massachusetts shells out millions of dollars each year in defense spending, among top 10 states for total defense spending, according to a 2015 Pentagon report. Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), her predecessor, also served on the Armed Services Committee. 
Warren added on Wednesday that she's visited bases and defense companies across Massachusetts since joining the upper chamber. 
"I've seen the critical role they play in strengthening our national security. I look forward to continuing to work closely with them as a member of the Committee," she said. 
Warren, who joined the Senate in 2013 and rose quickly through party ranks, is already drawing early 2020 presidential speculation.