Congressional Democrats have formed a new national security task force within their caucus and picked Winter Park’s U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy to be one of the three chairs.

The Democrats in Congress announced the task force Tuesday, intended to “advance smart, strategic, and strong national security policies focused on protecting the United States, the American people, and our interests abroad,” according to their press release.

Murphy was appointed as one of the chairs along with U.S. Reps. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, and Jimmy Paneta of California.

Murphy, a freshman who is a former Department of Defense intelligence analyst, is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. In her five months in office, she has aggressively sought to establish national security chops, with several national security speeches and several national security bills, including one Democrats universally applauded that would keep White House advisor Steve Bannon off of President Donald Trump‘s National Security Council.

She also has introduced two bill proposing national security intelligence organizing for U.S. interests in North Korea and in the whole Pacific-Asia rim. She also introduced a bill, endorsed last week by the moderate Blue Dog Democrats Caucus, which would require the White House to report to Congress any transfers of classified information to enemy states.

“The United States faces a wide range of threats, whether from terrorist groups like ISIS or nations like North Korea. It has never been more important to develop and implement national security policies that are smart, strategic, and strong,” Murphy stated in the news release issued Tuesday by the House Democratic Caucus.”

The caucus stated that the new task force will, “through substantive policy discussions, provide a forum for members to identify solutions to our most pressing security challenges and communicate these solutions to the American people in a clear and compelling way. The task force will also take concrete actions to bolster Democratic positioning on national security and hold the Trump administration accountable.”

The task force will hold its inaugural meeting on June 21, where members will meet with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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