Ros-Lehtinen to Lead House MENA Subcommittee
Photo Credit: AP/EduardoVerdugo
Former House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) has been named to lead the new Middle East and North Africa subcommittee, and will be replaced as Foreign Affairs chairperson by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA). Ros-Lehtinen, the most senior Republican woman in the House, will set the agenda for the revamped subcommittee. In an open letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last October, Ros-Lehtinen raised concerns about U.S. aid to the Egyptian Government, stressing that “As Egypt’s Islamist leadership increasingly takes control of the country, place Muslim Brotherhood members as provincial governors and installing radical Islamists…we are concerned for the future of both Egyptian minorities and secular, pro-democracy activists”. In a December statement, she expressed concern that “Egypt has moved from one dictatorship to another while leaving democracy in the dust.” Royce, likewise, has indicated that as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee he will pursue “conditionality” on Congress’s disbursement of aid citing attempts by foreign governments to incite terrorism. “The attempt is to create leverage to move behavior,” he said.