Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

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U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is a standing committee of the United States Senate. It is charged with leading foreign-policy legislation and debate in the Senate. The Foreign Relations Committee is generally responsible for overseeing (but not administering) and funding foreign aid programs as well as funding, arms sales and training for national allies. The Senate Rules, in Chapter 25, define the standing committees of the Senate; Section ( j ) pertains to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

The committee has considered, debated, and reported important treaties and legislation, ranging from the purchase of Alaska in 1867 to the establishment of the United Nations in 1945. It also holds jurisdiction over all diplomatic nominations. (Committee on Foreign Relations 2003) Along with the Finance and Judiciary committees, the Foreign Relations Committee is one of the oldest in the Senate, going back to the initial creation of committees in 1816. Its "sister" committee in the U.S. House of Representatives is the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Major military political issues the committee should address:

  • U.S./European Occupation of Afghanistan
  • U.S./British Occupation of Iraq
  • U.S. Air strikes in Somalia
  • Possible U.S./Israeli War against Iran
  • U.S. Subversion in Venezuelan
  • U.S./Chinese Space Arms Race
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Members, 110th Congress
Democrats: Republicans:



Chairmen of the Committee on Foreign Relations, 1816-present

Swift Boat Boy

  • Sen. Chris Dodd indicated on March 27, 2007 that he opposed the nomination of St. Louis executive Sam Fox as U.S. Ambassador to Belgium because the appointee had "refused to apologize for his behavior" during a confirmation hearing last month. The behavior in question was giving $50,000 to the morally repugnant Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Ambasadors need a reeputation for truth-tellign and Fox is tarnished by his relationship with the massive smear campaign. On March 29, the White House issued a very brief note announcing that Swift Boat Boy would not be going to Belgium as America's envoy after all.


Committee on Foreign Relations (2003). The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Washington, DC Available at

External links

GovTrack Links
Committee Page
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Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittees:

African AffairsEast Asian & Pacific AffairsEuropean AffairsInternational Economic Policy Export & Trade PromotionInternational Operations & Organizations, Democracy & Human RightsNear Eastern & South Asian AffarisWestern Hemisphere Peace Corps & Narcotics Affairs

Congressional Committees Project : Current United States Congressional committees

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Senate Committees: AgingAgriculture, Nutrition & ForestryAppropriationsArmed ServicesBanking, Housing, & Urban AffairsBudgetCommerce, Science & TransportationEnergy & Natural ResourcesEthicsEnvironment & Public WorksFinanceForeign RelationsHealth, Education, Labor, & PensionsHomeland Security & Governmental AffairsIndian AffairsIntelligenceJudiciaryRules & AdministrationSmall Business & EntrepreneurshipVeterans' AffairsSenate Subcommittees

Joint Committees: ConferenceEconomicLibraryPrintingTaxation
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