PROGRESSIVES LOOK TO WIELD POWER IN A NEW PLACE: THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

PROGRESSIVES LOOK TO WIELD POWER IN A NEW PLACE: THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

Joaquin Castro, in a long-shot bid for chair, says he wants to hold the Trump administration accountable.

ON NOVEMBER 2, anticipating President Donald Trump’s impending electoral demise, Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, outlined a plan to turn the page on the administration’s treatment of migrants and asylum-seekers. Castro called on Congress to create a special body — either a human rights commission or a select committee — that would investigate family separations under Trump and refer any violations of the law to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution.

Castro has also called for bringing the war in Afghanistan to an end, cutting off U.S. support for the Saudi-led conflict in Yemen, and having Congress end blank-check authorizations for wars in the Middle East — which would force Congress to debate and define the scope of the war on terror.

Come next Congress, Castro may have a real power to make good on those ideas.

But first, he has to win his bid to become chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, beating two senior members in an uphill, secret-ballot election. If Republicans keep control of the Senate, whoever is elected chair in the Democratic-controlled House could end up becoming one of the most important congressional figures in shaping a post-Trump foreign policy.