An aid supporter on the House foreign affairs committee

Democrat Rep. Eliot Engel of New York is now the only candidate to replace Rep. Howard Berman of California as ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Photo by: U.S. Congress

The top position reserved for a Democrat member of the House committee in charge of foreign affairs is expected to go a senior lawmaker that has shown support for aid spending.

Democrat Rep. Eliot Engel of New York is now the only candidate to replace Rep. Howard Berman of California as ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee after his last contender dropped out of the race Nov. 28. Engel also has the support of the majority of current Democrat members of the committee.

If formally appointed, Engel would serve alongside Republican Rep. Edward Royce of California, who has been named chairman of the committee.

Engel currently serves as ranking member of the subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere and a member of the panel on Europe and Eurasia. In these positions, he has advocated for increasing U.S. aid to Latin America and the Caribbean, among others.

Engel’s legislative voting record, meanwhile, also shows his support for funding for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis programs. He also voted against a 2005 proposal that would limit U.S. financial contributions to the United Nations if the global body does not meet a number of reforms.

Among other foreign policy issues Engel has been actively engaged in is on Israel, which he described as a “close strategic” ally of the United States, and human rights.

Meanwhile, the ranking member position in another House committee that affects foreign aid spending is still up for grabs. The two top contenders to be the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, which decides funding levels, are Rep. Nita Lowey of New York and Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, Politico reports.

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About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.