Musical Chairs

House Foreign Affairs Committee picks subcommittee leadership

Some new faces and some veterans are among the House Democrats and Republicans on HFAC’s subcommittees

Nuclear Regulatory Committee

House Democrats and Republicans are picking their leaders on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s subcommittees. Here’s a rundown of who is in charge of the committee in the 117th Congress:

Full Committee

  • Chair: Rep. Greg Meeks (D-NY) is the new chairman of the committee, and has promised “a leap towards a new way of doing business.”
  • Vice chair: Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), a former assistant secretary of state, told Jewish Insider, “The job of the committee is not to be a cheerleader. Our job is to conduct oversight” on issues like the Iran nuclear deal.
  • Ranking member: Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), who is entering his second term as the committee’s ranking member, had a collaborative relationship with former chairman Eliot Engel.

Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism subcommittee

  • Chair: Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) will serve another term at the top of the subcommittee whose jurisdiction includes Israel and its neighbors.
  • Vice chair: Freshman Rep. Kathy Manning (D-NC), the former chair of the Jewish Federations of North America, told JI shortly after her election that getting placed on the House Foreign Affairs Committee would give her the opportunity “to stand up for” the U.S.-Israel relationship.
  • Ranking member: Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) is entering his second term as ranking member on the subcommittee.

Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights subcommittee

  • Chair: Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) has been the top Democrat on the subcommittee since she was first elected to Congress in 2011. 
  • Vice chair: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who previously faced calls for her removal from the committee following 2019 remarks that invoked antisemitic tropes, was appointed vice chair last week, and some repeated their concerns.
  • Ranking member: Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), who has been in Congress for more than 40 years, was the subcommittee’s chairman when the GOP controlled the House.

Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation subcommittee

  • Chair: Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) was reelected to chair the subcommittee, with plans to focus on China, North Korea and democratic decline in the region.
  • Vice chair: Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) emphasized his commitment to protecting Tibet and democracy in India when he was appointed as vice chair.
  • Ranking Member: Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) chaired the subcommittee from 2013 to 2014.

Europe, Energy, the Environment, and Cyber subcommittee

  • Chair: Rep. William Keating (D-MA) was reelected to a second term leading the committee.
  • Ranking member: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) is a former FBI agent in his third term in Congress.

International Development, International Organizations, and Global Corporate Social Impact subcommittee

  • Chair: Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) was one of three members seeking the top spot on the Foreign Affairs Committee. He was the committee’s vice chair in the 116th Congress.
  • Ranking member: Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) told JI she hopes to preserve and advance the Trump administration’s “significant inroads” on economic and national security issues.

Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration, and International Economic Policy subcommittee

  • Chair: Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), a refugee from Cuba, chaired the subcommittee in the previous Congress.
  • Ranking member: Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) is a U.S. Army combat veteran who participated in the capture and interrogation of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Quotable: “I’m delighted to be chosen to serve as the vice chair of the Middle East, North Africa and Counterterrorism Subcommittee,” Manning told Jewish Insider. “Israel is one of our most important allies and I will advocate for policies that ensure Israel’s long-term safety and security. I am also committed to addressing Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the region, including their continuing efforts to become a nuclear power and their fostering of terrorism around the world, including funding of Hezbollah and Hamas. In addition to these priorities, the Subcommittee must also work to root out antisemitism and to advance human rights across the globe.”

This post was updated at 11:35 on 2/18/21.