Newly-elected Cuban-American members of Congress, Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) and Nicole Malliatakis (R-FL) are being tapped for roles on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, it was announced on Thursday.
In a recent press release, Republican members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee congratulated the new and returning representatives chosen to make up the Committee for the 117th Congress.
“As we continue to grapple with the global coronavirus pandemic and counter aggressive actions of authoritarian regimes around the world, we will need a strong and united voice to face our challenges,” said lead Republican Michael McCaul,” the release read.
“I am confident the experience and expertise of our veteran members along with the strong backgrounds of our new members will help accomplish our foreign policy goals and protect America’s interests abroad,” it continued.
In light of the insurrection attempt on Capitol Hill just a few weeks ago, the House Republican Steering Committee was slightly delayed in releasing their picks for committee memberships.
The list contained existing, familiar faces that will continue in their roles including, Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey and Congressman Lee M. Zeldin of New York. However, the newly elected members of Congress seem to signal the change in course that Republican leaders have been pushing for.
Most notably, the two founding members of the recently formed “Freedom Force” have established themselves as ambitious leaders on the committee’s roster this term. One of them, Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar of South Florida, fought hard to ensure a spot in the Committee.
In a recent interview with Cuban journalist Juan Manuel Cao on his show El Fondo, Mrs. Salazar explained how she fought for a place on the Foreign Affairs Committee from the moment she assumed office.
Salazar, a veteran journalist of Cuban descent and fierce critic of several left-wing dictatorships in Latin America, claims that serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee would be the best way to serve her Miami community.
Florida’s 27th congressional district is formed in large part by many residents of Hispanic descent who are living in exile from several Latin American and Asian countries. Congresswoman Salazar will represent many of these exiled communities in Congress while continuing the work of her predecessor Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who once served as the Chair of the Committee.
Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis of Staten Island and Brooklyn also confirmed her placement on the Committee in a press release from her office on January 26th. Though Malliotakis is half-Cuban herself, she emphasized her other connections to Greece, Cyprus, and the Eastern Mediterranean region along with her avid support for the state of Israel.
Her press team also mentions Malliotakis’ commitment to preserving many core aspects of President Trump’s foreign and international economic policy, along with opposing President Biden’s reentry into the Paris Climate Accords.
Other freshmen members of Congress recommended to join the Committee are Congressman Darrell Issa and Congresswoman Young Kim of California, Congressman Peter Meijer of Michigan, and Congressman August Pfluger of Texas.
While appointments for subcommittee chairmanships have yet to be made, it is clear that Congressional Republicans will need to decide on a new strategy for the GOP to counter many of the policies that the Biden administration seeks to pursue.