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House freshman to lead cybersecurity panel

A freshman congressman is taking over the House Homeland Security Committee's subpanel on cybersecurity. 

Rep.-elect John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeProfiles in cowardice: Trump's Senate enablers Biden considering King for director of national intelligence: report Haspel not in attendance at latest Trump intelligence briefing: reports MORE (R-Texas), who defeated Republican Ralph Hall in the primary last May, was named chairman of the subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies.

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He will take over for Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) who led the subpanel in the last Congress. 

"Today, we face unprecedented challenges to our national security – from the ever-evolving terror threat from al-Qaeda, its affiliates and ISIS [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] to the growing cyber threat and an insecure border," said Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) when announcing his six subcommittee leaders. 

"The security of our citizens depends on our preparedness to meet these challenges," he added. 

Cybersecurity issues have gained increased attention following a string of high-profile hacks of companies in the last year, including the recent attack on Sony Pictures.

Ratcliffe is a former George W. Bush administration official. He served as the chief of anti-terrorism and national security in the Eastern District of Texas as a U.S. attorney. 

He was one of the few challengers to take out a sitting incumbent from his own party with his primary victory over Hall, the oldest serving member of Congress at the time. 

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) will continue to lead the Homeland Security subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. 

Racliffe is not the first Texas Republican to take over a technology-focused subcommittee this year. Another freshman, Rep.-elect Will Hurd (R-Texas), is slated to head the information technology subpanel on the House Oversight Committee.