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McCaul to Be Named Chair of Homeland Security Committee

Ed Schipul
Texas Tribune

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, will be named the chairman of the powerful House Committee on Homeland Security later today, Republican sources have confirmed. 

McCaul, who currently chairs the subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management and is also a member of the subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, will replace Congressman Peter King, R-New York, who announced just days ago that he was leaving the post. King has chaired the committee since 2005, the same year the U.S. House granted the committee permanent status. It was created in 2002.

The position will give McCaul, who is outspoken on border security and immigration, control over the committee charged with overseeing the tasks of the Department of Homeland Security. The agency was created following the terrorist attacks in 2001, and its purview includes Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S Customs and Border Protection, the United States Secret Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the United States Coast Guard, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Transportation Security Administration.

Just weeks ago, McCaul released an update to his earlier report, "A Line in the Sand: Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border," in which he outlined what he calls ongoing threats of spillover violence from transnational gangs and the “new element of Iran and Hezbollah’s influence in Latin America.” On Saturday, McCaul will join U.S. Reps. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, and Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, in Mexico City, where the delegation will attend the swearing in ceremony of Mexican president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto.

Julian Aguilar covered the 81st legislative session for the Rio Grande Guardian. Previously, he reported from the border for the Laredo Morning Times. A native of El Paso, he has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Texas and a master's degree in journalism from the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas.