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Hassan to chair Senate emerging threats subcommittee

Hassan to chair Senate emerging threats subcommittee
© Greg Nash

Sen. Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanPast criticism of Trump becomes potent weapon in GOP primaries Cosmetic chemicals need a makeover Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema MORE (D-N.H.) will chair the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s subcommittee focused on national security threats and spending oversight, committee leaders announced Wednesday.

The Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight will focus on national security issues, including cybersecurity threats, on whether the federal government is prepared to confront these threats, and on evaluating government use of taxpayer dollars. 

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul does not support a national minimum wage increase — and it's important to understand why Fauci to Chelsea Clinton: The 'phenomenal amount of hostility' I face is 'astounding' GOP's attacks on Fauci at center of pandemic message MORE (R-Ky.) will serve as ranking member of the panel, and Hassan takes over as chair from him.

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“I am eager to continue leading bipartisan efforts to address emerging national security threats and conduct important oversight of how taxpayers’ dollars are spent,” Hassan said in a statement Wednesday. “The United States is facing a range of emerging threats, from terrorism at home and abroad to cyberattacks, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to combat these threats and help keep our citizens safe, secure, and free.” 

“Granite Staters know better than any the importance of fiscal responsibility, and I look forward to continuing efforts to improve government efficiency and crack down on the waste of taxpayer dollars,” she added. 

Both full Committee Chairman Gary PetersGary PetersAbsences force Senate to punt vote on Biden nominee Senate Democrats investing M in Defend the Vote initiative Senior Biden cyber nominees sail through Senate hearing MORE (D-Mich.) and ranking member Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHillicon Valley: Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC | Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cyber during summit with Putin | TSA working on additional security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack Senators introducing B bill to help narrow digital divide How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress MORE (R-Ohio), expressed confidence in Hassan’s leadership of the subcommittee.  

“Senator Hassan has spent her entire career working across the aisle to strengthen national security and cut fraud, waste and abuse throughout government,” Peters said in a statement. “Her strong leadership will help ensure this subcommittee is prepared to address and respond to some of the most serious threats to our country, including terrorism.”

Portman praised Hassan’s leadership and that of other Senate Democrats appointed to head committee panels on Wednesday, which also included freshman Sen. Jon OssoffJon OssoffStacey Abrams calls on young voters of color to support election reform bill MLB calls lawsuit over All-Star Game 'political theatrics' Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock MORE (D-Ga.) taking over as chair of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) as chair of the Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management. 

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“These Subcommittee leaders are tasked with ensuring efficient federal regulatory processes and transparency in how taxpayer money is spent, addressing emerging national security concerns, and conducting thorough and efficient oversight of the federal government,” Portman said in a statement.

Hassan has had a history of addressing cybersecurity issues while serving on the full Senate Homeland Security Committee, including helping to ensure legislation she co-sponsored to establish cybersecurity coordinators in every state was included in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.

Hassan's appointment comes as other committees move to put leaders in place at the start of the 117th Congress.

On cyber issues, the Senate Armed Services Committee leaders announced Tuesday that Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinProgressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC US, EU pledge to work together on climate amid reported dissension on coal Senate to hold hearing on DC statehood bill MORE (D-W.Va.) will chair the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, with former chair Sen. Mike RoundsMike RoundsTrump, midterms fuel GOP's effort to quash Jan. 6 commission Senate GOP blocks legislation on Jan. 6 commission Senate votes to advance China bill after Schumer strikes deal MORE (R-S.D.) serving as ranking member. 

On the other side of Capitol Hill, the House Armed Services Committee announced the creation of a new cybersecurity-focused subcommittee earlier this month, headed by Rep. Jim LangevinJames (Jim) R. LangevinLawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cybersecurity during summit with Putin Colonial Pipeline may use recovered ransomware attack funds to boost cybersecurity New Russian hacks spark calls for tougher Biden actions MORE (D-R.I.). The House Homeland Security Committee's cyber panel will be chaired by Rep. Yvette ClarkeYvette Diane ClarkeTSA working on additional pipeline security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack School districts struggle to defend against rising ransomware attacks Hillicon Valley: Democrats urge Facebook to abandon 'Instagram for kids' plan | 'Homework gap' likely to persist after pandemic MORE (D-N.Y.).