The Daily Gazette
Stephen Williams @gazettesteve | January 31, 2019 Updated 5:03 PM
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik was reappointed Thursday to the House Intelligence Committee for the new 116th Congress.
Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, also served on the committee in the 115th Congress, when she was part of the Republican majority. In the new Congress, Democrats have the majority and are expected to be more assertive in challenging the Trump administration’s intelligence findings.
Her appointment was made by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California.
“I am grateful to Leader McCarthy for reappointing me to the House Intelligence Committee,” Stefanik said in a prepared statement. “It is an honor to serve on the committee, which is devoted to protecting our country against threats to our national security and democracy. I’m looking forward to continuing my work from last Congress with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to increase our nation’s stability.”
The Intelligence Committee oversees parts of the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Treasury, Energy, Justice and State. The panel, which is now chaired by U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, has one other New York representative: Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney of Newburgh.
The previous committee conducted an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. In April 2018, the Republican majority released a report that found Russia actively sought to sow discord, but there was no evidence it sought to aid Trump’s presidential campaign; Stefanik said she agreed with that finding. Committee Democrats released a separate, dissenting report.
On Tuesday, the heads of the CIA and other high-ranking intelligence officials appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee and contradicted recent Trump assertions regarding the Islamic State militant group and North Korea. That prompted the latest highly publicized dust up between Trump and the intelligence community.
Stefanik again will serve on the House Armed Services Committee. She will be the ranking member of the panel’s Emerging Threats and Capacities Subcommittee, which is chaired by U.S Rep. Jim Langevin, D-Rhode Island.
As a member of that subcommittee in the last Congress, Stefanik said she worked to support the Pentagon’s science and technology research, strengthen cyberwarfare capabilities, bolster special operations forces around the world, provide counter-terrorism resources and advance programs to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
Stefanik represents the 21st Congressional District, which covers New York’s North Country, from Saratoga and Fulton counties to the Canadian border.
Congressional Democrats, including Capital Region representatives Paul D. Tonko of Amsterdam and freshman Antonio Delgado of Rhinebeck, were given their main committee assignments two weeks ago.
Tonko, who was named earlier to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced Wednesday he will also continue to serve on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, on which he has served since being elected to Congress a decade ago.
The Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on the Environment and Climate Change, which Tonko chairs, will hold a hearing on climate change at 10 a.m. on Feb. 6 in Washington, Tonko’s office said. It will be the first House committee hearing on climate change since 2013.