Edward Randall "Ed" Royce (born October 12, 1951) is an American politician who currently serves as a member of the United States House of Representatives for California's 39th congressional district, and previously the 40th, serving in Congress since 1993. A member of the Republican Party, Royce became the Chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 2013. He was re-elected to his seat in 2016, having spent over $3.5 million on his campaign.
Early life, education, and pre-congressional career
Born in Los Angeles, California, and graduating from Katella High School in Anaheim, Royce went on to earn his B.A. in Accounting and Finance in 1977 from the California State University, Fullerton. He was a business owner and corporate tax manager for a Portland cement company before becoming a California State Senator in 1983, serving in that post until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives. Royce is married to the former Marie Therese Porter, a businesswoman and former Professor at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
U.S. House of Representatives
After redistricting following the 1990 United States Census, incumbent Republican U.S. Representative William Dannemeyer decided to retire and run for the 1992 U.S. Senate election. Royce won the Republican primary for what was then California's 39th congressional district and defeated Democrat Molly McClanahan in the general election with 57% of the vote. He won re-election to the 39th district four more times with at least 63% of the vote. After redistricting after the 2000 United States Census, his district was renumbered the 40th, and won re-election five more times, with at least 63% of the vote. The district encompasses parts of Orange County, Los Angeles County, and San Bernardino County, including the cities of Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Brea, Placentia, La Habra, Buena Park, Anaheim, Diamond Bar, Walnut, Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights, La Habra Heights and Chino Hills.
After redistricting, Royce's home in Fullerton was drawn into the 39th district. That district had previously been the 42nd District, represented by fellow Republican Gary Miller. Royce defeated Jay Chen in the general election.
- Committee on Financial Services
- Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government-Sponsored Enterprises
- Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit
- Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chair
- Human Rights Caucus
- Congressional Military Family Caucus
- Congressional Internet Caucus
- House Recycling Caucus
- Victim’s Rights Caucus
- International Conservation Caucus
- Congressional Caucus on Korea
- Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans
- Congressional Caucus on Vietnam
- Taiwan Caucus
- U.S. Philippines Friendship Caucus
- Congressional Cement Caucus
Political positions and PACs
Royce is one of 14 GOP House Republicans in California. He has voted with his party in 97% of votes so far in the current session of Congress and voted in line with President Trump's position in 92.9% of the votes.
Over his career, Royce has received nearly $7 million from PACs. In the 2016 race, he raised over $4.2 million and spent over $3.5 million.
His campaign committee received funds from Northwest Excavating, Duetche Bank, Morgan Stanley and NorPac. The Sunlight Foundation gave Royce's web site a 24 percent rating for transparency, with 40 percent being considered a passing score. Royce's website highlights support from conservative groups such as 60 Plus and business organizations such as the National Taxpayers Union, Citizens Against Government Waste, and 60 Plus. He has received praise from the American Share Holders Association, Citizens for a Sound Economy, and the Small Business Survival Committee.
For the 113th Congress, the Washington Post named Royce as one of the “10 most effective lawmakers in the U.S. Congress”, citing his authorship of the Global Anti-Poaching Act (H.R. 2494) and the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015 (H.R. 2297).
In February 2017, he voted against a resolution that would have directed the House to request 10 years of Trump's tax returns, which would then have been reviewed by the House Ways and Means Committee in a closed session.
Royce's voting record, his scores on VoteMatch, and ratings by the Cato Institute indicate mixed or moderate positions on free trade, privatization of social security, campaign finance, and tax reform.
The legislation he has sponsored on tax policy, small businesses, credit, and banking deregulation shows that many of his biggest campaign contributors have been banks: his five top contributors in 2006 were Credit Union National Assn, Irvine Co., Wells Fargo, Orange County Teachers Fed Credit Union, and GUS plc. He is among the representatives receiving the largest percentage of their campaign contributions from the banking industry.
He has received 14 "Taxpayer Friend Awards" from the National Taxpayers' Union. Royce opposes funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Royce has posited that these overseas investments expose taxpayers to a serious potential liability, just like the S&L crisis did.
Royce is a social conservative, having voted against same-sex marriage and gay adoption, and in favor of school prayer and school vouchers. He has a 92 percent rating from the Christian Coalition in terms of his voting record on families and children. He is pro-life, his votes resulting in NARAL's most consistent possible score. He has voted in favor of a constitutional amendment forbidding flag burning, and in favor of making the USA PATRIOT Act permanent. He has an A rating from the NRA.
Royce was criticized for attending a rally in his home county, in which members of anti-Muslim groups chanted at Muslim-American families attending Islamic charity event that they should "go home". Royce replied that the anti-Muslim chants were done by provocateurs, not the main group of protesters. He disavowed the chants, saying "those remarks and conduct were disrespectful and offensive".
As a state senator he supported President Clinton's anti-stalking legislation. 14 years ago, in 2003, he sponsored one bill as US representative related to victims.
In foreign policy, Royce's voting record has earned a 0% rating from SANE. In 2002, he voted in favor of authorizing President George W. Bush to use force in Iraq. In 2003, he voted yes on an emergency appropriation of $78 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In every year from 2003 to 2006, he has voted in favor of the annual supplemental spending bill to continue funding for the Iraq war.
In 2005, he voted against Amendment 214 to HR 1815, which called on Bush to develop a plan for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq; in favor of Amendment 488 to HR 2601 to keep troops in Iraq; and in favor of HR 612 opposing a timetable for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. In 2006, he voted for HR 861, a resolution labeling the war in Iraq as part of a global war against terrorism. Royce had a mixed voting record on the 2011 US involvement in Libya. In 2015, Royce supported the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.
Royce is the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, previously serving as a Chair of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade in the 112th Congress. In previous Congresses, Royce served as chairman of the International Relations Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation. During his tenure as Chairman of the Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation, Royce held hearings on Islamic terrorist threats and weapons of mass destruction. Royce led efforts in the House to either secure or destroy shoulder-fired missiles around the world that otherwise may be susceptible to terrorists. In the summer of 2006, he held congressional hearings in San Diego, California and Laredo, Texas, focusing on border vulnerabilities and international terrorism.,
Royce also serves as a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia. He and has been especially involved in policy regarding North Korea, working on issues such as human rights, counterfeiting of U.S. currency, nuclear proliferation, and stopping repatriation of refugees. Royce's district includes Fullerton, which has a large population of Korean immigrants. He has supported U.S. broadcasting efforts in Asia, initiating legislation to create Radio Free Asia and Radio Free Afghanistan on the model of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Royce was formerly chair of the Africa Subcommittee, He co-led with Colin Powell a delegation to observe Nigeria's historic elections in 1999 and led a delegation to Darfur to bring attention to the ongoing genocide in 2005 and led efforts in the House to bring Charles Taylor, the former President of Liberia, to stand trial before the Special Court of Sierra Leone.
In 2011, Royce has voted against the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 as part of a controversial provision that allows the government and the military to indefinitely detain American citizens and others without trial.
On April 26, 2013, Royce introduced the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2013 (H.R. 1771; 113th Congress), a bill that would increase U.S. sanctions on North Korea. Royce said that "by shutting down North Korea's illicit activities, we deprive the Kim regime of the money he needs to pay his generals and to conduct nuclear weapons research." Royce also argued that "North Korea is undoubtedly one of the most significant security threats that we here face and our allies face."
On June 27, 2013, Royce introduced the Electrify Africa Act of 2013 (H.R. 2548; 113th Congress), a bill that would direct the President to establish a multiyear strategy to assist countries in sub-Saharan Africa develop an appropriate mix of power solutions to provide sufficient electricity access to people living in rural and urban areas in order to alleviate poverty and drive economic growth.
On November 13, 2013, Royce introduced the Taiwan Relations Act Affirmation and Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2014 (H.R. 3470; 113th Congress) into the House. The bill would allow the sale of several Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates to Mexico, Thailand, and Taiwan. Four naval vessels would be sold to Taiwan for about $10 million each. Mexico and Thailand would each receive two vessels as a grant. Royce argued in favor of the bill saying that "these ships would bolster Taiwan's defense." Royce also said that "these transfers help support the priorities of the U.S. Navy while strengthening the capability of allies and our close partners to meet our share maritime security objectives."
On November 13, 2013, Royce introduced the Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Parity Act (H.R. 3468; 113th Congress) into the House. The bill would expand federal deposit insurance to include Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTAs) and similar escrow accounts housed within credit unions.
Awards and honors
- Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon – Republic of China on Taiwan