King steps down as House Homeland Security chairman

Republican Rep. Peter King has officially announced he will step down as chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

The New York congressman must resign because of party rules that limit committee chairmanships to six years, and King has already had a one-year extension that he is now finishing.

He made the announcement Saturday to the New York Daily News, and no short list of names has emerged as a possible replacement in the Republican-controlled House. However, Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security, has been mentioned as a potential replacement.

Should Attorney General Eric Holder resign and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano take his place, as speculated, King would appear qualified for the post. However, President Obama will likely appoint a fellow Democrat.

King is still a member of the House Intelligence Committee and is expected to take over as chairman of the Homeland committee’s Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee.

The amount of money the federal government has given U.S. cities to protect against terrorism has reportedly declined 40 percent over the past three years.

King said about the reduced funding and uncertainty over a possible Cabinet shakeup: “Nothing is definite in politics or government, so if there is a new Homeland Security secretary, I will try to work with them as chairman of the subcommittee, and work with the new chair.”