WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Peter King, a Long Island Republican, was selected Wednesday to be chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
King, a seven-term congressman from the 3rd District, has been a strong supporter of allocating homeland security funds based on threat analysis. New York and other large cities have complained they do not receive enough anti-terrorism aid while less populated areas receive too much.
King said that he was happy when he learned he had been selected but that it was "sobering to realize how serious the challenge is."
Last month King met with intelligence officials in the Middle East and said the anti-terror work being done in other countries proves the need to extend the Patriot Act.
King replaces Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., who resigned to become chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
He was chosen from a field of five candidates who made presentations for the 28-member Republican steering committee, which voted by secret ballot, his spokesman Kevin Fogarty said.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., said in a statement that King "is exactly what New York needs to help with its security challenges."
"He has always been a strong supporter of New York's first responders and has been a true advocate for our state," she said. "He understands the specific homeland security needs of New York as well as the many security challenges confronting our nation."