Rep. Mark Green, R.-Tenn., who was selected yesterday to chair the House Homeland Security Committee, pledged to “secure our cyber border” as one of his top priorities for the committee for the 118th Congress.

“In 2018, cyberattacks cost the Federal government an estimated $13.7 billion dollars, and recently the Department of Justice determined that 80 percent of all espionage cases and 60 percent of all trade secret cases are connected to China in some way,” Rep. Green said in a Jan. 9 statement.

Rep. Green beat out Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, in the battle for the committee leadership position. The two members of Congress went before the Republican Steering Committee on Jan. 9, where Green said that his focus for the Homeland Security Committee will not only be on the physical border, but on the cyber border and inter-agency responsibilities to cybersecurity.

“No community in America will be spared if we cannot secure this fourth, deeply vulnerable, border,” he said.

Rep. Green will work alongside Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who will be the Homeland Security Committee’s ranking member. Rep. Thompson chaired the committee previously.

During the 116th Congress, Rep. Green served on the Homeland Security Committee’s cybersecurity subcommittee, and during that time he introduced the Protecting Federal Networks Act – a bill to strengthen the ability of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to address cyber threats on Federal government systems.

Rep. Green ­– often referred to as the conservative border hawk – also pledged to ramp up oversight on the nation’s physical border security.

“These are two of the many priorities we will address — and we will not let the American people down,” the new chairman said, adding, “For the sake of our country, we have no choice but to address these challenges head-on.”

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.