NEWSMAKER-Low profile no more, new US House foreign affairs chair eyes Iran

Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:36pm EST
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* Rep. Royce demanding tough sanctions on Iran, North Korea

* More legislation from committee despite party rifts?

* New committee chair calls for Keystone pipeline approval

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON, Jan 14 (Reuters) - After 20 years working on international relations in Congress, Representative Ed Royce takes over the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee with one goal firmly in mind: a harder line, with tighter sanctions, on Iran.

So low-profile that some fellow Californians call his dad, former Orange County water official Ed Royce Sr., "the real Ed Royce," the 11-term Republican congressman has garnered less national attention than most new heads of major committees.

Royce's appointment has raised expectations that the House panel, after two years of bitter divisions and little action, could be less partisan and more productive.

He has been on the committee throughout his career in Congress, inspired by his father, who helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp in Nazi Germany while serving in General George Patton's Third Army during World War Two.

Royce insists that foreign policy can be bipartisan - and cites strong support from both Democrats and Republicans for Iran sanctions as an example.   Continued...