Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) issued the following statement after Chairman Emeritus and Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa Chair Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) announced that she will retire at the end of the 115th Congress:

“Ileana is a close friend, and a true professional who serves with downright good cheer.  But more than that, she is a trailblazer who has broken barriers again and again.  In 1989, Ileana was the first Hispanic woman elected to Congress.  In 1993, she was one of the first three women to join the congressional baseball team.  And as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee – and its first woman chair – she’s been a relentless advocate for human rights, and a powerful voice on the need to address the dangerous Iranian regime, defend allies like Israel, and so much more.  Ileana’s retirement is well-deserved, but I’m glad we are not losing her yet.  We’ve got important work to do for the American people over the next year and a half, and I know Ileana will continue to play a leading role.”