The arrival in January of the 112th Congress is slated to bring the 1st woman chair of the Foreign Relations Committee of either house of Congress.*
Moving from ranking minority member to chair will be U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (left).
In the United States since age 7, when her family fled her birthplace, Cuba, Ros-Lehtinen has served in Congress since 1989. As described by the Associated Press, her South Florida district "includes parts of Miami's Little Havana and the tourist-dependent and gay friendly Miami Beach and Florida Keys." That combination makes for the occasional unexpected position -- unlike many Republicans, she voted to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell."
On many other issues, however, Ros-Lehtinen is likely to be a thorn in the side of policies favored by the administration of President Barack Obama. Examples of expected points of contention:
► She'll "resist any White House attempts to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."
► She "may try to chip away at the president's executive order" -- about which we've posted -- "allowing foreign aid for international groups that provide information about abortion services."
► She'd "like U.S. contributions to the U.N. to be voluntary until the U.S. creates an office to audit U.N. activities for transparency and eliminate waste." She's particularly critical of the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose members include countries like China, Saudia Arabia -- and the country with which she's expected to oppose any U.S. dialogue, Cuba. _____________________________
* A far cry from the "leadership" posts women tended to hold not so long ago -- more than 1 Congresswoman was chair of the House Beauty Shop Committee.