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Heck to lead House defense investigations panel

WASHINGTON — Rep. Joe Heck was named on Wednesday to lead the House subcommittee that conducts defense investigations, including one ongoing into the 2012 Benghazi attack.

Heck, a Republican from Nevada who is in his second term in Congress, is the new chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, a branch of the House Armed Services Committee.

The 10-member subcommittee conducts studies and investigations of waste, fraud, abuse and inefficiencies in the military.

Most recently, it has been one of the Republican-led House panels investigating aspects of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

“From continuing our investigation into Benghazi to providing oversight into other key issues before the committee, Joe’s background in uniform and in medicine make him ideally suited for this role,” said Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, who made the appointment.

Heck, 52, is an osteopathic physician and a colonel in the Army Reserve. He said in the new post that he will work “to ensure military resources are responsibly spent and programs are efficiently developed and implemented.”

The chairmanship also figures to raise Heck’s profile during his contested bid for election to a third term. He is being opposed by Las Vegas Democrat Erin Bilbray.

The position became open when previous subcommittee Chairman Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., moved to the House Appropriations Committee late last year.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760. Follow him on Twitter @STetreaultDC.

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