Ed Royce, the veteran United States House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman and a friend of India, said on Tuesday he will not seek re-election, becoming the eighth Republican Chairman who has chosen to retire before midterm poll.
Royce, 66, one of the founders of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, said he wanted to spend the remaining months of his term on “urgent threats” the US is facing.
“In this final year of my Foreign Affairs Committee chairmanship, I want to focus fully on the urgent threats facing our nation, including the brutal, corrupt and dangerous regimes in Pyongyang and Tehran, Vladimir Putin’s continued efforts to weaponise information to fracture western democracies, and growing terrorist threats in Africa and Central Asia,” he said.
“With this in mind, and with the support of my wife Marie, I have decided not to seek re-election in November,” he added.
The 13-term congressman Royce was first elected to the Congress in 1992 from the 39th Congressional district of California, which encompasses areas on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
He is the eighth House Republican Chairman who has announced he will forgo a re-election campaign for the House ahead of the midterm elections.
Royce has been a strong supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and played a key role in the India-US civil nuclear deal.
He has been one of the strongest voices on India-US relationship and Indian-Americans in the Congress.
He has also been involved in raising issues of religious freedom and curbs on NGOs in India. In the Congress, Royce frequently raised the issue of terror sanctuaries in Pakistan.
“He deserves particular praise for his years promoting human rights, especially in the fight to end human trafficking and protect the most vulnerable people around the world,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.