WASHINGTON, D.C.— Four-term U.S. Congressman Dr. Amerish ‘Ami’ Bera (D.-Calif.), was named to chair a key Foreign Affairs Subcommittee, which also has jurisdiction over policy pertaining to South Asia.
Bera, 55, known as the dean of the ‘Samosa Caucus’ of Indian American lawmakers that include Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D.-Wash.), Ro Khanna (D.-Calif.), and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D.-Ill.), replaces Rep. Brad Sherman (D.-Calif.) as the new chair of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation.
Sherman told India Abroad that Bera’s appointment of the new chair had come about because Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D.-N.Y.), who chaired a key Financial Services Subcommittee, with the recent demise of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D.-Md.), who chaired the powerful Oversight Committee, was named to chair this full Committee, and he (Sherman) had to take over as chair, while continuing to be a member of the full Financial Services Committee too.
“I was one of those who supported and pushed for Ami to take over the Subcommittee on Asia,” he said, but said, besides serving as a senior member of the full Foreign Affairs Committee, he would also continue to serve as the Democratic co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and the Indian Americans, the largest country-specific caucus on the U.S. Congress.
Bera, said, "I am honored to chair the Sub-committee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation,” and noted, “Asia is one of the most important and consequential regions of the world and the United States has deep and enduring ties to the continent.”
He pledged, as chair, “I will work to ensure that the U.S. is utilizing all of its political, military, cultural and economic tools to support American interests, and maintain and enhance the U.S. commitments in Asia and the Pacific.”
Bera said, “The sub-committee will explore how effectively those tools are being used, including how to strengthen our allies and partners within the region.”
In addition to its regional jurisdiction, the subcommittee also provides “critical oversight of U.S. nonproliferation policy and works to prevent the spread of dangerous nuclear and missile technologies, including nuclear, chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction.”
Since he would now take on the helm of the Asia Subcommittee, Bera relinquished his position as the chair of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee of Oversight and Investigations, to Rep. Joaquin Castro (D.-Tex.).
Bera also serves as Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Korea and previously co-chaired the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.