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.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
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