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 MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyNet neutrality supporters predict tough court battle over FCC's repeal plan Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Driverless car bill hits Senate speed bump MORE (D-Mass.), who won the seat vacated by Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryLobbying world Kerry: Trump not pursuing 'smart' or 'clever' plan on North Korea Tillerson will not send high-ranking delegation to India with Ivanka Trump: report 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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