House GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues

House GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues
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Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee this week criticized the focus by Democrats on an impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE, saying the process was distracting attention from national security priorities. 

In a letter to committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonHillicon Valley: Trump turns up heat on Apple over gunman's phone | Mnuchin says Huawei won't be 'chess piece' in trade talks | Dems seek briefing on Iranian cyber threats | Buttigieg loses cyber chief House Democrats request briefings on Iranian cyber threats from DHS, FCC Democrats sound election security alarm after Russia's Burisma hack MORE (D-Miss.) made public on Friday, the Republican committee members, led by ranking member Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersHillicon Valley: FBI to now notify state officials of cyber breaches | Pelosi rips 'shameful' Facebook | 5G group beefs up lobby team | Spotify unveils playlists for pets 5G group beefs up lobby team House Homeland Security rip DHS's 'unacceptable' failure to comply with subpoena MORE (R-Ala.) noted their “concern” that the “Democrat majority’s overwhelming preoccupation with its partisan quest to impeach the President is undermining the ability of our Committee to move critically needed legislation to secure the homeland.”

“In the mist of impeachment, the majority has failed to make progress on important homeland security legislative priorities such as securing the border, safeguarding chemical facilities from acts of terrorism, protecting vulnerable public and private networks from cyber threats, or moving a comprehensive authorization of the Department of Homeland Security,” the Republican members also wrote.

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Among cybersecurity challenges facing the country, the Republican committee members specifically noted the increase in ransomware attacks across the country this year.

Targets of those attacks have included schools and government entities, and the Republicans took issue with the full committee not yet considering legislation that has been introduced to help address them.

“We urge you to reject the divisive politics of impeachment and work with us to solve these challenges in a bipartisan manner,” the Republican members wrote. 

Every Republican member of the House Homeland Security Committee signed the letter, including Reps. Pete KingPeter (Pete) KingLawmakers introduce bill taxing e-cigarettes to pay for anti-vaping campaigns Democrat who opposed Trump, Clinton impeachment inquiries faces big test House GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues MORE (N.Y.), Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulTop Indian official canceled congressional meeting over inclusion of Jayapal: report Republican group asks 'what is Trump hiding' in Times Square billboard Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' MORE (Texas), John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoDCCC to run ads tying 11 House Republicans to Trump remarks on entitlements Bezos phone breach escalates fears over Saudi hacking House Democrats request briefings on Iranian cyber threats from DHS, FCC MORE (N.Y.), Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerRepublicans, Democrats offer support after John Lewis cancer diagnosis House GOP vows to use impeachment to cut into Democratic majority A solemn impeachment day on Capitol Hill MORE (N.C.), Clay HigginsGlen (Clay) Clay HigginsThe five dumbest things said about impeachment so far House GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues VA under pressure to ease medical marijuana rules MORE (La.), Debbie Lesko (Ariz.), Mark GreenMark GreenPresident Trump's Iran strategy is working Trump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization Trump says he will designate Mexican drug cartels as terror organizations MORE (Tenn.), Van TaylorNicholas (Van) Van Campen TaylorHouse GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill Freshman House Dems surge past GOP in money race MORE (Texas), John JoyceJohn JoyceHouse GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues GOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill MORE (Pa.), Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawO'Rourke says he'll focus on flipping Texas state House in 2020 House GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues Saagar Enjeti: Crenshaw's conservatism will doom future of GOP MORE (Texas) and Michael GuestMichael GuestHouse GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues Border Patrol chief 'extremely offended' by Ocasio-Cortez's concentration camp comments MORE (Miss.).

A Democratic aide told The Hill that the letter was “confusing,” saying the committee has approved 62 mostly bipartisan bills and held over 40 hearings since the start of the current Congress.

“The highlighted issues are generally issues we are also concerned with and will continue the work we have already done on those issues next year, when in our jurisdiction,” the aide said.