The senior-most Indian-American on Capitol Hill, has been appointed chair of the Subcommittee on Asia, Pacific, and Nonproliferation of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Rep. Ami Bera, D-California, 54, first elected to Congress in 2013, said he was honored to be taking up his new position for a subcommittee that deals with “one of the most important and consequential regions of the world and the United States has deep and enduring ties to the continent”.
“As Chair, I will work to ensure that the U.S. is utilizing all of our political, military, cultural, and economic tools to support our interests, and maintain and enhance U.S. commitments in Asia and the Pacific,” Bera is quoted saying in a Dec. 13, 2019 press release.
“The subcommittee will explore how effectively those tools are being used, including how to strengthen our allies and partners within the region,” Bera said.
“Finally, we need to remember that when we engage with the nations of Asia and the Pacific, our values and interests move hand-in-hand; countries which respect human rights and create space for civil and nongovernmental actors are those that prosper and guarantee long-term stability,” Bera emphasized.
The Ranking Member of the Subcommittee is Ted Yoho, R-Florida.
Rep. Joaquin Castro, R-Texas, was voted to succeed Rep. Bera as Chair of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.
Bera called it a “tremendous privilege” to serve as Chair of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and said he would continue to be “a forceful advocate for smart and strong diplomacy and development, which includes supporting and strengthening the State Department, USAID, and our diplomats and career officials.”
The Subcommittee Bera is now going to chair, not only has regional jurisdiction of Asia and Pacific, but will provide critical oversight of U.S. nonproliferation policy and will work to prevent the spread of dangerous nuclear and missile technologies, including: nuclear, chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction, Bera said.
Bera also serves as Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Korea and previously chaired the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, the largest caucus of its kind.