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Katko AVSEC

U.S. Rep. John Katko, center, participated in the Leaders Plenary of the AVSEC 2018 Conference for the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal Tuesday.  

U.S. Rep. John Katko traveled north of the border to participate in an international security conference Tuesday. 

Katko, R-Camillus, participated in the Leaders Plenary of the International Civil Aviation Organization's Global Aviation Security Symposium at the agency's headquarters in Montreal. 

The International Civil Aviation Organization establishes guidelines and security standards for air travel. 

At the conference, Katko called for greater investments in aviation security screening and improved relationships between the U.S. and other countries to bolster security. 

Katko, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, chairs the Subcommittee on Transportation and Protective Security. In that role, he oversees the Transportation Security Administration, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security. 

Many of the 33 Katko-sponsored bills that have passed the House since 2015 have focused on aviation security. The central New York congressman has emerged as a leading TSA watchdog and a proponent of aviation security measures. 

In a statement Tuesday evening, Katko said he was invited to speak at the conference by ICAO Secretary General Fang Liu. 

"The free movement of people and goods is central to the American way of life and our economy, and we must seize every opportunity to close security gaps," he said. 

The appearance at the international security conference comes as Katko is vying to become ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee. 

Katko is one of two Republicans — U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama is the other — seeking the top GOP seat on the committee. Rogers is a longtime member of the House Homeland Security Committee, and he ran for chair in 2012. (He lost that race to U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican who chaired the committee for the last six years.) 

Rogers is the favorite to become the committee's ranking member, but Katko believes his work over the past four years and his previous career as a federal prosecutor would make him a great fit for the post

Katko and Rogers will deliver presentations to the House Republican Steering Committee. The committee will decide by Friday who will serve as ranking member beginning in January. 

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