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Change is in the air at the House Homeland Security Committee. While its Chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), is firmly in place, the people running his Subcommittees are going through a round of musical chairs.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) has given up her Chairmanship of the Border, Maritime and Counterterrorism Subcommittee in favor of taking a Subcommittee Chairmanship on the House’s Armed Services Committee. While she is not leaving the Committee’s membership and is retaining her seniority, her departure presents an opening for a very important seat.

Moving into that seat will be Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), who currently chairs the Emergency Communications, Preparedness and Response Subcommittee. Cuellar has proven to be one of the most knowledgeable and cooperative Members of the Committee, and those are traits that he’ll need as he will need to shepherd the SAFE Ports Act for reauthorization.

His departure from his Subcommittee post opens his seat, and stepping into it is a newcomer to the Committee’s leadership structure, Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA).

As for the Committee’s other Subcommittee leaders, Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Rep. Chris Carney (D-PA) are all staying put in their posts. For now, the musical chairs have stopped, but like most things in Washington, you never know when the next round of music is about to start or who will be sitting where when it stops.

Rich Cooper blog primarily on emergency preparedness and response, management issues related to the Department of Homeland Security, and the private sector’s role in homeland security. Read More