Floridas Deutch snags top Democratic spot on Mideast subcommittee

Rep. Ted Deutch was named the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East subcommittee — one of five Jewish Democrats among the subcommittee’s 10 Democrats.

The Florida lawmaker’s Jan. 15 selection by Democrats on the Foreign Affairs Committee was a surprise, as he has been in Congress less than three years and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), the second most senior Democrat on the committee, had expected the spot.

Working in Deutch’s favor was his success at passing legislation both in the Florida Legislature, where he led the effort to divest the state’s pension funds from Iran, and in the House of Representatives, where he has been a leader on passing recent Iran sanctions.

Along with Deutch, the other Jewish Democrats on the subcommittee are Alan Grayson and Lois Frankel, both of Florida, David Cicilline of Rhode Island and Bradley Schneider of Illinois. Also on the Middle East subcommittee is Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), who was elected when its last ranking Democrat, Gary Ackerman, retired at the end of the last Congress. — jta