February 18, 2021

Hassan to chair Senate emerging threats subcommittee

Sen. Maggie Hassan (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 Paul (R-Ky.) will serve as ranking member of the panel, and Hassan takes over as chair from him.

 

“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 Peters (D-Mich.) and ranking member Rob Portman (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 Ossoff (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.

 

“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.

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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 Manchin (D-W.Va.) will chair the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, with former chair Sen. Mike Rounds (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 Langevin (D-R.I.). The House Homeland Security Committee's cyber panel will be chaired by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.).