113th Congress May Do Slightly Less Harm to U.S. Interests in the Middle East

By McArthur, Shirl | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January/February 2013 | Go to article overview

113th Congress May Do Slightly Less Harm to U.S. Interests in the Middle East


McArthur, Shirl, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


With an increased Democratic margin in the Senate and a slightly lower Republican margin in the House, as well as changes to key congressional committees, the 113th Congress may see somewhat less Republican obstructionism to President Barack Obama's foreign policy agenda. However, both houses of Congress will remain staunchly pro-Israel, although perhaps a bit less stridently pro-Likud.

Democrats gained two seats in the Senate, and now have 53 seats to the Republicans' 45. Two Independents, Sens. Bernie Sanders (VT) and newly elected Angus King (ME), will caucus with the Democrats, and vote with them on votes requiring a 60-vote threshold. The result in the House is a 234 to 201 Republican majority, a gain of eight seats for the Democrats.

In the Senate, the most important committee change may be in the Foreign Relations Committee. Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), who has been a strong supporter of Obama's foreign policy objectives, has openly lobbied to be appointed secretary of state when Secretary Hillary Clinton leaves. There has also been speculation that he may be appointed secretary of defense. In either case, his likely replacement as Foreign Relations Committee chair would be Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of this magazine's "Hall of Shame," who is a strong supporter of Israel and can be expected to push for even harsher sanctions against Iran. Other significant Democratic departures from the committee include the retirements of moderate Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA), a member of this magazine's "Hall of Fame," and Daniel Akaka (D-HI). On the Republican side, committee ranking Republican Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), a moderate and strong exponent of a bipartisan foreign policy, was defeated in the primary. His likely replacement will be Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), also a moderate and supporter of bipartisan foreign policy, but with less institutional clout than Lugar had.

Other important Senate changes include the retirements of Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), who has worked to thwart several of Obama's foreign policy initiatives, and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), a strong Zionist who has pushed for more forceful U.S. actions against Iran and Syria.

Congress will remain staunchly pro-Israel, although perhaps a bit less stridently pro-Likud.

In the House, the most important changes will occur in the Foreign Affairs Committee. Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Israel's foremost proponent in the House, has reached her "term limit" and cannot be chairwoman again in the next Congress. However, she likely will seek and get the chair of the Middle East subcommittee, from which she undoubtedly will try to continue to promote Israel's interests over those of her own country. Her replacement likely will be Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), who has not been active on Middle East issues. Ranking committee Democrat Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) was defeated in a re-drawn California district pitting him against Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA). Sherman is Jewish and equally pro-Zionist, but perhaps less stridently so. Berman's replacement as ranking Democrat likely will be Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), who is Jewish and also a supporter of Israel.

Other significant election results included the defeats of several "know-nothing-party" members, including Reps. Robert Dold (R-IL), Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Allen West (R-FL), all of whom have pushed ill-considered pro-Israel and anti-Arab measures.

Special note should be made of the defeat of Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV), who unsuccessfully ran as a candidate for the Senate. Berkley has been a leading challenger to Ros-Lehtinen for the title of Israel's foremost champion in Congress.

All Five Arab Americans, Seven Fewer Jewish Americans Re-Elected

Of the five Arab Americans in the House, Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Nick Rahall (D-WV) handily won re-election. Louisiana Rep. Charles Boustany (R) faces a run-offelection in December, because he failed to get 50 percent of the vote. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

113th Congress May Do Slightly Less Harm to U.S. Interests in the Middle East
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.