Washington, D.C. — Promising to search for common ground with Democrats, Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson chaired his first meeting Thursday of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.
Johnson is the only first-term Senator with a committee chairmanship.
He and the panel’s top Democrat, Tom Carper of Delaware, both said they hoped to continue what they said was a tradition of bipartisanship on the committee.
Johnson’s committee will hold its first hearing next week, on cyber-security. A congressional trip to South Texas on border security is in the works.
Johnson said the committee’s mission was to “enhance the economic and national security of the United States,” and said the panel “really offers opportunities for finding common ground” between Republicans and Democrats, “not asking folks on one side of the aisle to violate their principles, and us not violating ours.”
The committee has two different domains, homeland security and broad government oversight.
Under Johnson, the full committee will take up homeland security issues, while there will be three subcommittees doing government oversight, chaired by Republican Rob Portman of Ohio, Rand Paul of Kentucky and James Lankford of Oklahoma.