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Reyes to lead House intelligence committee

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  • Greg Cannon
    If I m not mistaken he will also now be the only committee chairman from Texas, and I m pretty sure he s the first chairman from El Paso we ve ever had.
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2006
      If I'm not mistaken he will also now be the only
      committee chairman from Texas, and I'm pretty sure
      he's the first chairman from El Paso we've ever had.


      Reyes to lead House intelligence committee (9:33
      By Jake Rollow / El Paso Times
      Article Launched:12/01/2006 09:25:07 AM MST

      Congressman Silvestre Reyes was named chairman of the
      House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee this

      Tapped by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, who became
      the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives when
      Democrats took control of it in the mid-term
      elections, Reyes had been the third-ranking Democrat
      in the committee.

      "Congressman Silvestre Reyes has impeccable national
      security credentials. He has served our country as a
      soldier in combat, a senior law enforcement officer on
      our southern border, and in Congress as a member of
      the Select Intelligence, Armed Services, and Veterans'
      Affairs Committees," said Pelosi in a statement
      released this morning.

      Reyes was first elected in 1996 is also the senior
      ranking member of the Subcommittee on Strategic
      Forces, which is a part of the Armed Services
      Committee. A veteran and retired U.S. Border Patrol
      district chief, he has worked on military, immigration
      and security issues in Washington, D.C.

      Reyes could not immediately be reached for comment.

      "He (Reyes) understands how our troops rely on
      intelligence to do their jobs and to keep them safe
      and how policymakers need reliable and timely
      intelligence to make decisions that will advance our
      interests worldwide. When tough questions are
      required, whether they relate to intelligence
      shortcomings before the 9/11 attacks or the war in
      Iraq, or to the quality on intelligence on Iran or
      North Korea, he does not hesitate to ask them," Pelosi

      The selection of Reyes resolves one of the few
      committee chairmanships that was still in question
      after Democrats won control of the House of
      Representatives last month. It set up an early
      challenge for Pelosi, who had sole discretion on the

      Pelosi had to navigate a series of candidates -- and
      their supporters -- who were vying for the post. In
      the end, Pelosi bypassed two more senior intelligence
      committee members -- Reps. Jane Harman, D-Calif., and
      Alcee Hastings, D-Fla. -- to select Reyes. Harman is
      currently the committee's top Democrat, and her term
      on the panel expires this year. She could have been
      reappointed by Pelosi, but the two are said to have
      political differences. In a statement, Harman
      congratulated Reyes and noted she has offered him her
      "full and enthusiastic support."

      Some critics and ethics watchdogs had questioned
      whether Hastings was the right person for the post,
      which has access to some of the nation s top secrets.
      He is Congress' only impeached federal judge. In a
      sign of the bitterness that has surrounded the issue,
      a Hastings statement this week announcing he would not
      get the job closed with: "Sorry, haters, God is not
      finished with me yet."

      Known as "Silver" to friends, Reyes is a Purple Heart
      winner who was drafted into the Army and served during
      1966-68 as a helicopter crew chief and gunner. His
      service included 13 months in Vietnam.

      He rose through the ranks during 26 years of service
      in the Border Patrol, leaving as a senior law
      enforcement official in Texas in 1995. He won his seat
      in Congress the next year.

      Under Democratic control, his committee is expected to
      increase public oversight of some of the most
      difficult issues facing the United States, including
      terrorism, Iraq and government surveillance. Given the
      committee s inherently secret nature, much of the work
      will have to be done behind closed doors.

      Reyes is considered less partisan than Hastings, and
      signaled that the day after the election when he
      praised the selection of former CIA Director Robert
      Gates to replace Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

      Check elpasotimes.com later today for more on this
      breaking story.

      Jake Rollow may be reached at jrollow@...;

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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