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Chairman of Foreign Affairs

House Foreign Affairs Committee room


Washington, November 28, 2012 - Over the years, I have written over 350 Foreign Intrigue blog posts. Today there is news close to home. I’m honored to say that my colleagues have selected me as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee for the next Congress.

I have been a Committee member since I first came to Congress. I took over the Africa Subcommittee and we organized an impressive bipartisan coalition to pass a landmark Africa trade bill. I traveled to many trouble spots on the continent and remain committed to closer ties with Africa. Then I shifted to the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee, where I have focused on stopping the spread of WMD and encouraging trade. Even helped put international arms dealer Viktor Bout behind bars.

What’s next now that I have been entrusted with Committee gavel? Iran's march toward nuclear weapons is a grave threat that demands constant attention and great pressure on Tehran. Daily crisis come and go – but this menace has been building for years. I have been focused on North Korea's weapons proliferation for a long time, and U.S. international broadcasting efforts --including "Freedom Radios"-- need to get better, fast.

After years of sacrifice, Americans are weary of engagement. But while we can't step away from the many challenges abroad, I'll be working to see that U.S. policy is smart and focused, and that we make the best use of our limited resources. I want to reach out to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It doesn't make a lot of sense to pass legislation in the House with little Senate support.

After several years of blogging, I think my readers understand the issues I feel strongly about and my general foreign policy approach. The Speaker of the House, others in Republican leadership, and many of my other colleagues have given me a great vote of confidence. As chairman, I'll be better positioned to advance the causes many of you care deeply about.

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