Boxer passes on Middle East panel opening

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has yet to decide on who will take over Casey's panel on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, which has newfound urgency amid the crises in Egypt and Syria and the renewal of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Other committee members already lead other committee panels or have reached the limit of two subcommittee chairmanships across the Senate.

Casey has been replaced on the committee by Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyDem senator criticizes Facebook, Instagram for gun sales Apple, Google enlisted for FCC robocall effort Airlines brace for boost in travel volumes over Labor Day MORE (D-Mass.), who won the seat vacated by Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryObama phones Italian leader after deadly earthquake US arms sale to Saudi Arabia under fire from lawmakers Top Republican presses Kerry for Iran 'ransom' details MORE in a special election. Markey could end up with the subpanel chairmanship on a committee that's dominated with first-term senators, or the committee could end up being reshuffled.

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