California Republican Devin Nunes is gunning for the Intelligence Committee chairmanship as the current chairman heads for a career in talk radio.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), 50, a former FBI agent who has served seven terms in the House, announced today that he won’t seek re-election and will move into broadcasting.
“As I close this chapter in my life, I am excited to begin a new one that allows me to continue serving as a voice for American exceptionalism and support a strong national security policy agenda,” Rogers said in a statement.
Soon after, Nunes released a statement announcing that he would seek the gavel.
“Chairman Rogers has been an excellent and energetic chairman of the Intelligence Committee, guiding the committee’s work through the attack on Benghazi, the outbreak of war in Syria, and other challenging issues,” Nunes said. “Under his leadership, the committee functioned in an effective, bipartisan way. I wish him good luck in his future career in broadcasting, and would be privileged to be considered as his successor as chairman.”
The 40-year-old congressman, who’s served in Congress since 2003, is close to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) — both in proximity of their offices in the Longworth House Office Building and in terms of the lawmakers who have the Speaker’s ear.
Nunes isn’t close, however, to the current chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) have been at loggerheads over water rights as Nunes has tried to relieve the chokehold of environmental regulations and get water to his parched agricultural constituents in the Golden State’s central valley.
Rogers, on the other hand, has enjoyed a friendly working relationship with Feinstein as they shared key national security views.
Of the Benghazi attack and subsequent congressional probes, Nunes told PJM in October 2012 that “it’s a fact that within 12 hours the Intelligence Committee knew this was an attack.”
“The best thing for the American people, Congress, government, is for everyone to come clean,” at the very least to the intelligence panels, Nunes stressed. “The last thing we want to do is go through some long investigation because people are lying, and that’s where we’re headed — and that’s really unfortunate.”