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.


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.