Rubio to Lead Senate Intelligence Committee

May 19, 2020 by Dan McCue
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

WASHINGTON – Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been tapped to be the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, taking the place of Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., who stepped down last week amid an investigation into his stock transactions.

Burr stepped aside after federal agents examining his recent stock sales showed up at his home with a warrant to search his cellphone. Friday was Burr’s last day in the position.

He has pledged to step aside as long as the investigation into his stock trades is active, and he doesn’t intend to seek reelection in 2022.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced his decision to choose Rubio on Monday, saying, in a lengthy statement, that “the senior senator for Florida is a talented and experienced Senate leader with expertise in foreign affairs and national security matters.

“Senator Rubio was the natural choice for this temporary assignment on the basis of accumulated committee service,” McConnell added. “His proven leadership on pertinent issues only made the decision easier.”

The majority leader noted that Rubio, who ran for president in 2016, has spent a decade as a leading member on the Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committees.

“His care for our nation’s security, advocacy for our values and interests, and vigilance toward threats have earned a national reputation,” McConnell said. “On subjects ranging from China and Russia to Iran and North Korea to tyranny and unrest in our own hemisphere, Senator Rubio has been on the case for years.”

Rubio is third in committee seniority on the committee, after Burr and Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, and has been widely touted for the top Republican post on the committee in the next Congress.

In a statement of his own, Rubio said he was grateful for McConnell’s confidence in his abilities.

“The committee has long been one that conducts its work seriously, and I look forward to continuing that tradition,” he said.

Rubio also leads the Senate Small Business Committee, which is typically a lower-profile role but gained greater importance as the body responsible for the $650 billion Paycheck Protection Program. The program, designed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, is supposed to help small businesses keep their workers on the payroll while the government forces many people to stay home.

Rubio’s first order of business in his new role will be to oversee what is expected to be a party-line vote Tuesday on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe to be director of national intelligence.

Along with House and Senate leaders and the top Democrat and Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Rubio will now have access to some of the highest-level secrets in Congress as part of a small “Gang of Eight” that receives the most sensitive information.

Rubio also has a history of bipartisanship, having worked Democrats on the panel on its investigation into Russian election interference and other matters.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, said in a statement Monday that Rubio “has been a great partner on intelligence and national security issues” and he looks forward to working with him.

Intelligence

CIA Suffered Historic Data Loss From Lax Cybersecurity, Report Says
Cybersecurity
CIA Suffered Historic Data Loss From Lax Cybersecurity, Report Says

WASHINGTON — In early 2017 the Central Intelligence Agency suffered a massive data loss when an agency employee stole vast quantities of information including some of its most secretive hacking tools because of lax cybersecurity measures, according to a redacted investigation report obtained by Sen. Ron... Read More

Senate Intelligence Committee Votes to Bolster Whistleblower Protections
Intelligence
Senate Intelligence Committee Votes to Bolster Whistleblower Protections

WASHINGTON — The Senate Intelligence Committee backed new protections for intelligence community whistleblowers and new reporting requirements for political campaigns as part of a broader intelligence authorization bill. The legislation, approved 14-1 by the panel on Wednesday, follows President Donald Trump repeatedly lashing out at a... Read More

Bipartisan Opposition Leaves Surveillance Bill in Doubt
Congress
Bipartisan Opposition Leaves Surveillance Bill in Doubt

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation extending surveillance authorities the FBI sees as vital in fighting terrorism was thrown into doubt as President Donald Trump threatened a veto and Republican leaders and top liberal Democrats said they would oppose it. House Democratic leaders abruptly adjourned without considering the... Read More

Lofgren Announces FISA Amendment Agreement, Clearing Way for House Vote
Intelligence
Lofgren Announces FISA Amendment Agreement, Clearing Way for House Vote
May 26, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., announced Tuesday there will be a vote tomorrow on a measure she's championed to prohibit the collection of Americans’ internet search history and web browsing data without a warrant. Since January, Lofgren, Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, and a bipartisan coalition... Read More

Senate Confirms Ratcliffe as National Intelligence Chief
Intelligence
Senate Confirms Ratcliffe as National Intelligence Chief
May 21, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The Senate on Thursday confirmed Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe as director of national intelligence, placing him at the head of several agencies from which President Donald Trump jettisoned official after official. The last Senate-confirmed director of national intelligence, former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, left... Read More

Rubio to Lead Senate Intelligence Committee
Intelligence
Rubio to Lead Senate Intelligence Committee
May 19, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been tapped to be the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, taking the place of Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., who stepped down last week amid an investigation into his stock transactions. Burr stepped aside after federal agents examining... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top