McCaul seeks to hold top spot on foreign affairs panel after November election

The Republican chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is seeking a waiver to remain in the top leadership role beyond the GOP-imposed term limit of six years, his office confirmed to The Hill.

Rep. Michael McCaul’s (R-Texas) pursuit of a waiver signals his desire to stay in Congress over seeking a possible position in a potential second Trump administration and shoring up his leadership role on foreign policy in a potential second Biden administration.

McCaul’s pursuit of a waiver was first reported by Punchbowl News.

McCaul has served as chair of the committee for the 118th Congress and held the ranking member position when Republicans were in the minority during the two previous Congresses.

If Democrats win the House in November, McCaul’s waiver would allow him to hold the top Republican spot on the committee as ranking member.

“When President Trump is back in the White House, he is going to need someone in Congress who can quickly help him undo the damage President Biden’s weakness has created. That is me,” the chair said in a statement to The Hill.

“I have the relationships and the experience to get bills signed into law. My committee is the most productive committee of the 118th Congress. We’ve had 67 measures pass the House and 18 HFAC bills have become law. The world is on fire – now is the time for consistent leadership.”

In February, McCaul said he would “consider” serving in a potential Trump administration but was edging on no during an interview with the Christian Science Monitor. The chair signaled he preferred serving in Congress as holding more influence to pursue his foreign policy vision.

“If asked, I don’t know if I would,” he said.

“I would consider it. … I would have to have a serious conversation to make sure I could advance my world vision.”

McCaul, while supportive of former President Trump, nonetheless is one of the strongest voices in Congress pushing against an isolationist movement among Republicans, which largely represents the former president’s view of foreign policy.

McCaul is a supporter of U.S. aid to Ukraine, credited with helping influence House Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-La.) decision in April to bring an aid package for Kyiv to the floor for a vote despite opposition from the majority of the conference.

McCaul has also pushed back against members of his conference who call for cutting U.S. spending abroad to focus on domestic issues, particularly immigration. While he voiced support for a proposal floated by Trump to make some foreign aid a loan, he has rejected conditioning military assistance solely on repayment.

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