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Deutch Outmaneuvers Sherman for Top Democratic Spot on Middle East Panel

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In a December interview, Sherman chalked that up to the fact that Engel has more seniority than him in total in Congress — Sherman leapfrogged Engel on the committee when the New York Democrat left it for a few years in the 1990s. Sherman also said at the time that “it’s very likely I’ll take the Middle East and South Asia” subcommittee on House Foreign Affairs, instead.

As ranking member of the terrorism and nonproliferation subcommittee, Sherman will still have a platform on sanctions policy and other arms control and counterterror programs he has long advocated for. He will team with the new chairman of that subcommittee, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas.

Deutch made clear Tuesday that Iran’s nuclear program will be a priority for him on the subcommittee.

“We face enormously consequential foreign policy challenges in the Middle East, from how we eliminate the Iranian nuclear threat and combat terrorism to how we strengthen Israel’s security and support Israel’s ongoing quest for peace, to how we advance democracy, gender equality and human rights in the region,” he said in a written statement. “I am honored to have this opportunity to help shape our responses to these challenges, and I look forward to working with my friend and Subcommittee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.”

Jonathan Broder contributed to this report.

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