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New GOP faces on Senate tech committees

The Senate committees that deal most with technology policy issues are getting a few new Republican faces, as GOP senators take power in the upper chamber.

Veteran and freshmen Republicans will take seats on the Commerce, Judiciary and Intelligence committees next year, and they could help shape a handful of significant issues facing the panels.

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Republicans will gain three seats on the Judiciary Committee, two on the Commerce panel and one on Intelligence Committee, after the GOP wave in the midterm elections.

Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBiden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status Bottom line Lysol, Charmin keep new consumer brand group lobbyist busy during pandemic MORE (R-La.) and Sens.-elect David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) are joining the Judiciary Committee, which is expected to tackle patent reform early next year after an effort collapsed this summer amid opposition from Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWho is the Senate parliamentarian and why is she important? Trumpists' assaults on Republicans who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid will help Democrats The Jan. 6 case for ending the Senate filibuster MORE (R-Nev.).

A vote on Michelle Lee, President Obama’s nominee to lead the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is also expected at some point next year. Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyFBI director faces lawmaker frustration over Capitol breach Padilla has 'big Chuck Taylors to fill' in replacing Harris Judiciary Committee greenlights Garland's AG nomination MORE (R-Iowa), the likely new chairman of the panel, signaled his support for Lee during a confirmation hearing last week, setting the stage for a relatively drama-free vote. 

Sens. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottTrump endorses Tim Scott for reelection This week: Senate takes up coronavirus relief after minimum wage setback Lobbying world MORE (R-S.C.) and Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsHow President Biden can hit a home run Former Trump intel chief Coats introduces Biden nominee Haines at hearing Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security MORE (R-Ind.) are stepping down from the Commerce Committee to make way for Sens. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranGraham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden vs. Trump, part II Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy MORE (R-Kan.) and Sens.-elect Cory GardnerCory GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 MORE (R-Colo.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.). The panel oversees many tech issues and will soon start work on a massive rewrite of the nation’s telecommunication laws, among other issues critical for the sector.

The Intelligence Committee is also getting three new GOP faces next year: Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntPadilla has 'big Chuck Taylors to fill' in replacing Harris Partisan headwinds threaten Capitol riot commission Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy MORE (R-Mo.) and Sens.-elect James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSenate confirms Rouse as Biden's top economist Scarborough tears into 'Ivy League brats' Cruz, Hawley for attacking 'elites' Judiciary Committee greenlights Garland's AG nomination MORE (R-Ark.), after the retirements of Sens. Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissLive coverage: Georgia Senate runoffs Trump, Biden face new head-to-head contest in Georgia Ex-GOP senator from Georgia suffers mild stroke: report MORE (R-Ga.) and Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnDemocrats step up hardball tactics in Supreme Court fight COVID response shows a way forward on private gun sale checks Inspector general independence must be a bipartisan priority in 2020 MORE (R-Okla.).

The new voices on the Intelligence and Judiciary committees could be instrumental as Congress examines reform of the National Security Agency early next year, ahead of the expiration of an agency provision.

The Intelligence Committee is also likely to focus on pushing a new cybersecurity bill, after the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act failed to move forward.