Rep. Cox to head Homeland panel

Rep. Chris Cox (R-Calif.) has been named chairman of the new Select Committee on Homeland Security that will oversee the development and operation of the new department to protect the nation's security.

"I will work to make our government more effective in the fight against terrorism. I will ensure that it is done efficiently, and that Congress and the federal government work together toward this common goal," Cox said in a statement Jan. 9.

Cox will lead the committee as the Homeland Security Department builds its operations with 22 existing departments, integrating their information technology and other functions into one agency.

The panel will coordinate efforts among Congress and federal agencies that are being folded into the new department in the biggest government reorganization in 50 years. And it will be responsible for all legislation relating to the Homeland Security Act.

"Overseeing the House implementation of the Homeland Security Department is one of the most important issues before the 108th Congress. I can think of no one better equipped to tackle this challenge," House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) said.

Cox has served as vice chairman of the Government Reform Committee and chairman of the Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People's Republic of China.

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