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Durbin to lead defense appropriations subcommittee

Updated: February 27, 2013 6:12AM

Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) will chair the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee which handles most of the nation’s defense funding, he announced on Friday.

Durbin said he learned the news late Thursday. He will be in charge of appropriating funds for the military and intelligence community, for national security requirements and the needs of more than two million active duty and reserve service members.

His subcommittee also oversees funding for the war in Afganistan and other worldwide military operations.

“It’s a daunting task. It’s a humble task to have the responsibility to fight for the nation’s security,” he said.

Among chief concerns will be reducing the nation’s defense deficit, which Durbin said will be a bit easier with the war in Afghanistan winding down.

Durbin said it’s time to think about the “next level of risk,” which he said is fighting cyber-security.

“Right now we’re under attack as we meet, on the Internet, and through invasion of our cyberspace, trying to shut down a lot of vital forces in the country, including the production of energy, nuclear power plants, to invade these companies and governmental agencies and steal the most important trade information,” Durbin said. “We’ve got to me mindful of the 21st century threats.”

The panel will begin organizing next month.

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