Speaker-elect John Boehner tapped Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) on Wednesday to serve as the chairman of the Intelligence Committee.
The Ohio Republican selected Rogers over Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), who outranks the Michigan Republican by one year of seniority.
In his announcement, Boehner also backed Thornberry to be vice chairman of the Armed Services panel. His recommendation has to be approved by the GOP Steering Committee, which is meeting this week to make committee membership assignments.
“As a former FBI Agent and U.S. Army Officer, Mike Rogers’ experience and expertise has proven invaluable throughout his tenure on the Intelligence Committee,” Boehner said in a statement. “It is incumbent upon the Intelligence Committee to ensure that Congress and the Obama Administration are supporting our intelligence professionals and providing them with the resources and authorities they need to keep America safe, and I look forward to working with Mike in his new role as Chairman.”
Rogers replaces Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who is retiring at the end of the 111th Congress.
Aside from Thornberry’s slight seniority edge, the two lawmakers were evenly matched in their experience, relationships with Boehner and deep ties to the intelligence community.
Boehner asked both Rogers and Thornberry to serve on his National Security Solutions Group in April to help craft the GOP policies for “national security challenges.” Rogers also was appointed earlier this month to serve on the GOP transition team.
Rogers, a former FBI special agent, is the ranking member on the panel’s terrorism subcommittee. Prior to his appointment to the Intelligence Committee, he played a major role in crafting the USA PATRIOT Act’s provisions on wiretapping and law enforcement provisions.
He has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s national security policies, specifically its decisions to scrap a European missile defense program and close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.