Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) today was named Vice Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee by incoming Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida.
"Congressman Gallegly is a very valued, experienced and effective Member of this Committee and is very familiar with the global challenges facing us today, as well as with leaders around the world who we must work with closely to address those challenges. I greatly look forward to working with him and getting his input on the direction that our Committee should take in the next Congress," Ros-Lehtinen said.
"I appreciate incoming Chairman Ros-Lehtinen providing me with this opportunity to serve the full committee as Vice Chairman," Gallegly said. "The United States and our allies face many challenges and it is critical that the House Foreign Affairs Committee lead Congress in meeting those challenges."
Gallegly is a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and currently Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Europe, which he chaired the last time Republicans were in the majority. He is finishing up his fourth term on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and its Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence Subcommittee. For years, Rep. Gallegly has been in the forefront of homeland security and the United States' war against terrorism.
As a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Gallegly has worked with America's European allies to fight terrorism here and abroad. He has met with more than 50 heads of state, government delegations, or members of foreign legislative bodies here and abroad. He introduced and passed major NATO expansion legislation and represented the House of Representatives at the NATO summit in Prague at the request of President Bush.
In 2008, he was the only member of Congress to fly to Pakistan to meet with the country's then-President Pervez Musharraf the day after the elections that brought a new Parliament to power. He also flew to Israel to meet with then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and then-Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss Israeli-Palestinian relations and other Middle Eastern issues, and to tour Sderot, an Israeli town under siege from rockets fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza.
During the 108th Congress, Rep. Gallegly was handpicked by then-Foreign Affairs Chairman Henry Hyde to chair the newly created Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Human Rights. As such, Gallegly chaired one of the first hearings on the 9/11 Commission's recommendations, a hearing that led to eight provisions being included in the final bill.
In January 2004, Gallegly--representing the Foreign Affairs Committee--and former Rep. Curt Weldon representing the Armed Services Committee led a congressional delegation of three other members to Libya to meet with Moammar Gadhafi after the Libyan strongman denounced terrorism and agreed to open his country to international arms inspectors. It was the first American delegation to travel to Tripoli in about 30 years.
Six weeks later, Gallegly chaired a meeting with family members of the victims of Pan Am 103 to discuss their pending settlement against Libya.
Among Gallegly's other achievements was authorship of legislation that was signed into law to streamline the procedure for keeping terrorist groups on the State Department's official list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.