Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Cybersecurity Committee, has named fellow Texas Republican and new member John Ratcliffe to chair the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies subcommittee in the new Congress, which convenes Tuesday (Jan. 6).
Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney and mayor, succeeds Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.). Ratcliffe, a conservative with Tea Party backing, won a primary challenge to Rep. Ralph Hall last May and went on to win in the general election. As a U.S. attorney in the Bush administration, Ratcliffe was a member of the Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on Terrorism and National Security, chief of anti-terrorism and national security for the Eastern District of Texas, and prosecuted cyber crimes.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) continues as chairman of the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee.
Cybersecurity and cyberterrorism are expected to be a focus of congressional interest this session, particularly in the wake of the recent Sony hack and White House response.
"We must do more to ensure our nation is able to prevent, detect and respond to the growing cyber threat," McCaul said following the FBI's announcement it had traced the hack of Sony employee info to North Korea. "This will be a top of focus of my committee next Congress and I will continue to work with my House and Senate colleagues to build on the cybersecurity legislation passed by Congress last week.”
The House Energy & Commerce Committee has also signaled it will hold a series of hearings on the threats posed to the economy by cybercrimes.