Bera chair

Indian American Congressman Ami Bera. (bera.house.gov photo)

The House Foreign Affairs Committee met recently to organize for the 116th Congress and named U.S. Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

“I am honored to chair the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. I’ve always believed that the United States has a duty to lead the world through our example. We have an obligation to confront pressing international issues, build partnerships, and work in a bipartisan manner to strengthen our national security,” the Indian American congressman said in a statement.

“Our subcommittee will have broad jurisdiction to conduct oversight into America’s foreign policy,” Bera added. “Our goal is to hold government accountable, support the mission of our diplomats, and investigate abuses when they occur. Effective oversight is crucial in any foreign policy mission. I look forward to working with Chairman (Eliot) Engel and my Republican colleagues to strengthen our global leadership and make government work more effectively and efficiently for the American people.”

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is a standing subcommittee within the House Foreign Affairs Committee. It was previously known as the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight. Human Rights issues are now under the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights.

The subcommittee is one of two primary subcommittee with what the committee calls functional jurisdiction. The functional jurisdiction of the subcommittee allows to provide oversight and conduct investigations or any and all matters within the jurisdiction of the full committee, with concurrence of the chairman.

In addition to the subcommittee he will chair, Bera was also named as vice chair of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, the committee said in a Jan. 30 news release.

“It’s an honor to be elected as the vice chairman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. The United States is the world leader in science and technology, but our global leadership is at risk without continued federal investment and support,” Bera said in a statement.

“The committee’s work will be critical for our nation’s economic competitiveness and the health and safety of our families,” Bera added. “We have a responsibility to ask tough questions about how and where taxpayer dollars are best used and I look forward to working alongside Chairwoman Johnson and our colleagues to address the important challenges that our country and planet face."

The committee has jurisdiction over much of the non-defense federal research and development portfolio. It has exclusive jurisdiction over the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The committee also has authority over R&D activities at the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service and the Department of Homeland Security.

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