WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) today announced Republican committee memberships for the 109th Congress. Senator Pat Roberts will continue as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Chairman.
Senator Roberts said, "I am pleased and honored that the Leader has entrusted me with this continuing responsibility. We must continue to improve our nation's ability to collect and analyze reliable intelligence information. I see the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence playing a critical role in that effort especially in light of the changes made by the recent intelligence reform bill. The Committee will actively oversee the implementation of the reforms and also hold confirmation hearings on a number of new intelligence officials. I intend to continue the Committee's involvement in all facets of our Intelligence Community including the newly created position of Director of National Intelligence. It is also my strong desire to keep politics out of the Committee and its oversight. The Committee is a valuable tool that is most effective when it is focused on intelligence issues and not on political issues."
Senator Roberts was scheduled to depart the Intelligence Committee after completing an eight-year term. Late in the year, however, the Senate repealed the Committee's term limits in response to a 9-11 Commission recommendation. Members of the Committee now serve without limitation as they do on other so-called "A" committees. In a change also enacted this year, Majority Leader Bill Frist was granted the authority to name the Chairman of the Committee. Today, the Leader tapped the Kansas republican to remain at the Committee's helm.
Senator Frist also announced that all but one member, Senator John Warner, will be returning as members of the Committee. Senator Warner will assume the status of an ex officio member under the changes made earlier this year.