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Royce Picked to Chair Foreign Affairs Committee

The longtime Republican congressman will head the committee that oversees the State Department, including embassy security.

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, who won the race to represent Diamond Bar and Walnut in the newly formed 39th Congressional District, has been named to a big post.

The Republican Steering Committee picked Royce, R-Fullerton, to chair the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the 113th Congress, according to a news release.  The committee of Republican leaders is lead by Speaker John Boehner.

Royce will succeed Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is out due to term limits.  The pick was ratified by the full Republican Conference Wednesday.

"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," Royce said in a news release.

"Right now, the gravest threat facing the U.S. and our allies is Iran. We should be pressuring Tehran as hard as we can to stop its march to nuclear weapons. Checking nuclear proliferation worldwide will be a key Committee priority," added Royce, who served as a conferee to the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, and has been active in advancing U.S.-Israel relations.

The Committee on Foreign Affairs' jurisdiction includes State Department issues such as embassy security. Royce told the Steering Committee during his presentation that he would be "tough but fair" in his oversight of the Obama Administration.

"The story of Benghazi is only just beginning to be recorded. The Committee will do its job to ensure there is a full accounting of all that happened within the Administration. Al-Qaeda and its affiliates have their sights on our diplomatic posts world-wide. This is a key national security issue," he said. "There aren't easy answers. But it only gets harder when the Administration is evasive with Congress and the American people."

Royce's focus on the committee has included economic issues, an effort he vows to continue.

The long-time congressman received support from the majority of the committee's Republican members returning to Congress, including Ros Lehtinen.

"I was honored to have the support of so many colleagues on the Committee. I look forward to proving their confidence in me, working with them and all members of the Committee to defend America abroad," he said.

Royce has served on the committee since he was first elected to Congress in 1993. He also has served as chairman or ranking member of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee for the past eight years. Royce chaired the Africa Subcommittee for eight years, and has been active on the Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee.

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