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A Quiet Campaign for a Secret Committee

One factor that could play a small role in the selection is the balance of state power in the House Republican Conference.  With several Michiganders poised to take gavels in the 112th Congress, paired with the fact Thornberry was passed over for the top Republican slot on the Armed Services Committee in 2009, there could be pressure from some lawmakers to appoint the Texas Republican. 

Both Rogers and Thornberry have long careers and deep ties to the intelligence community. They each have been involved in developing major legislation on intelligence and security policy.

Rogers, a former FBI special agent, is the ranking member on the terrorism subcommittee. Prior to his appointment to the Intelligence Committee, he played a major role in crafting the PATRIOT Actís provisions on wiretapping and law enforcement provisions.

A far more vocal member than Thornberry, Rogers has been a critic of the Obama administrationís national security policies, specifically its decisions to scrap a European missile defense program and close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Thornberry serves as the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence.

Thornberry is credited with writing the foundation of the legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security. He authored the initial bill that proposed the creation of a new department to oversee the nationís security before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Anna Palmer contributed to this report.

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