California’s newly elected U.S. senator Kamala Harris says she’ll fight attempts by President-elect Donald Trump to crack down on immigration, from a perch on the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.
“No state will be more impacted by any potential changes to federal immigration policy than California, and I look forward to zealously protecting our state’s interests on the homeland security committee,” Harris said in a Monday statement announcing her committee assignments.
Harris, a Democrat who will join the Senate next month, said she’ll also be a member of committees on intelligence, the environment and public works, and the budget.
The committee assignments put her in the middle of some of the biggest debates expected in the new Congress.
As a member of the intelligence committee, she’ll be a part of the Senate investigation into Russian hacking during the election and whether it was meant to help Donald Trump to win the presidency.
She’ll also be involved in discussions of cybersecurity and balancing privacy with surveillance.
Harris’ spot on the environment and public works committee puts her in the center of the debate over Trump’s pledge to spur industry through the loosening of environmental regulations. Harris replaces retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, who used the committee to establish herself as one of the most stalwart voices for the environment in Congress.
“I will fight hard against attempts to roll back key environmental protections,” Harris said.
Harris said she’ll attempt to use her position on the budget committee to advocate for the Affordable Care Act, which she defended as California attorney general and Trump pledged to repeal.
Harris, who opposes Trump’s promised mass deportations of illegal immigrants, described the homeland security committee as “the front line of immigration enforcement action in the next Congress.”
The committee has jurisdiction over border issues, while the Senate Judiciary Committee takes up immigration and naturalization issues, and there is often overlap. California’s senior senator, Dianne Feinstein, will be the top ranking Democrat on the judiciary committee.