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United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
"Committee on Foreign Relations" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Council on Foreign Relations.
The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is a standing committee of the U.S. Senate charged with leading foreign-policy legislation and debate in the Senate. It is generally responsible for overseeing and funding foreign aid programs; funding arms sales and training for national allies; and holding confirmation hearings for high-level positions in the Department of State.[1] Its sister committee in the House of Representatives is the Committee on Foreign Affairs.[note 1]
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Standing committee
Active

United States Senate
117th Congress
History
Formed1816
Leadership
ChairBob Menendez (D)
Since February 3, 2021
Ranking memberJim Risch (R)
Since February 3, 2021
Structure
Seats22 members
Political partiesMajority (11)
 Democratic (11)
Minority (11)
 Republican (11)
Jurisdiction
Policy areasForeign policy, aid, diplomacy
Oversight authorityDepartment of State
Agency for International Development
House counterpartHouse Committee on Foreign Affairs
Meeting place
423 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.
Website
www.foreign.senate.gov
Rules
Along with the Finance and Judiciary committees, the Foreign Relations Committee is among the oldest in the Senate, dating to the initial creation of committees in 1816.[2] It has played a leading role in several important treaties and foreign policy initiatives, including the Alaska purchase, the establishment of the United Nations, and the passage of the Marshall Plan.[2] The committee has also produced eight U.S. presidentsAndrew Jackson, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Benjamin Harrison, Warren Harding, John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden—and 19 Secretaries of State. Notable members include Arthur Vandenberg, Henry Cabot Lodge, and William Fulbright.
Due to its long history, influence in U.S. foreign policy, jurisdiction over all diplomatic nominations, and its being the only Senate committee to deliberate and report treaties, the Foreign Relations Committee is considered one of the most powerful and prestigious in the Senate.[3]
History
Between 1887 and 1907, Alabama Democrat John Tyler Morgan played a leading role on the committee. Morgan called for a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through Nicaragua, enlarging the merchant marine and the Navy, and acquiring Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Cuba. He expected Latin American and Asian markets would become a new export market for Alabama's cotton, coal, iron, and timber. The canal would make trade with the Pacific much more feasible, and an enlarged military would protect that new trade. By 1905, most of his dreams had become reality, with the canal passing through Panama instead of Nicaragua.[4]
Refusing to give the lady [Peace Treaty of Versailles] a seat --by Senators Borah, Lodge and Johnson
During World War II, the committee took the lead in rejecting traditional isolationism and designing a new internationalist foreign policy based on the assumption that the United Nations would be a much more effective force than the old discredited League of Nations. Of special concern was the insistence that Congress play a central role in postwar foreign policy, as opposed to its ignorance of the main decisions made during the war.[5] Republican senator Arthur Vandenberg played the central role. In 1943, a confidential analysis of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was made by British scholar Isaiah Berlin for the Foreign Office.[6][7]
On Chairman Tom Connally: ":The chairman of the Committee, Tom Connally of Texas, is a very typical, exuberant Southern figure with the appearance and mannerisms of an old-fashioned actor and a gay and hearty manner which conceals lack both of strength and of clear public principles. He is normally the spokesman of the Administration and, in particular, of the Department of State. His voting record is that of a straight interventionist. His principal point of deviation from [Secretary of State] Hull's policies is the subject to which Mr. Hull has dedicated a large portion of his life, namely, the policy of reciprocal trade. Representing as he does, a great cattle breeding State, his enthusiasm for free trade with, e.g., the Argentine, is not ardent. He has been a solid supporter of the department's policies toward, e.g., France and North Africa. His support of its economic policies is regarded as doubtful. On internal issues he shares all the beliefs and prejudices of the South.[8]
On Senator Hiram Johnson: "...is the Isolationists' elder statesman and the only surviving member of the [William E.] Borah-[Henry Cabot] Lodge-Johnson combination which led the fight against the League in 1919 and 1920. He is an implacable and uncompromising Isolationist with immense prestige in California, of which he has twice been Governor. His election to the Senate has not been opposed for many years by either party. He is acutely Pacific-conscious and is a champion of a more adequate defence of the West Coast. He is a member of the Farm Bloc and is au fond, against foreign affairs as such; his view of Europe as a sink of iniquity has not changed in any particular since 1912, when he founded a short-lived progressive party. His prestige in Congress is still great and his parliamentary skill should not be underestimated.[9]
On Senator Walter F George:"..an honourable but narrow Southern Conservative, who incurred the displeasure of the New Deal in 1938 when an unsuccessful attempt to "purge" him was made by its then leaders (in particular, [Edward] Flynn, [Harry] Hopkins, and [Thomas] Corcoran). This attempt increased his popularity in his State and in the Senate. He left the chairmanship of the Foreign Relations Committee in order to head the equally important Finance Committee, and is an exceedingly influential figure in the Senate, and the hope of the Conservatives in many parts of the United States.}}
On Senator James E Murray:"..:a millionaire lawyer who tries to out-do [Burton K. ] Wheeler as a champion of small business and labour against big business monopoly (e.g., the Anaconda Company which dominates his copper-producing State). An advocate of the second front and of stronger ties with Britain. A free trader except on copper issues. A Roman Catholic.[10]
On Senator Henrik Shipstead:"...a rabid Isolationist of Norwegian descent, elected largely by the Scandinavian vote. A very narrow, bigoted, crotchety man, intensely antagonistic to Minnesota's Governor Harold Stassen. A member of the Farm Bloc and consistently votes against the Administration.[11]}}
On Senator Arthur Vandenburg:"..a member of an old Dutch family and a respectable Mid Western Isolationist. A very adroit political manipulator, and expert parliamentarian and skillful debater. He has perennial presidential ambitions, and is grooming himself into a position of elder statesman. He is something of a snob, not at all Anglophobe, and is a fairly frequent visitor at the White House and the State Department. In common with the rest of his State delegation he votes against the Administration's foreign policies, but has nothing virulent in his constitution and is anxious to convey the impression of reasonableness and moderation. He denies that he is or ever was an Isolationist, and describes himself as a Nationalist ("like Mr. Churchill").[9]}}
Committee chairman Senator J. William Fulbright (left) with Senator Wayne Morse during a hearing on the Vietnam War in 1966
In 1966, as tensions over the Vietnam War escalated, the committee set up hearings on possible relations with Communist China. Witnesses, especially academic specialists on East Asia, suggested to the American public that it was time to adopt a new policy of containment without isolation. The hearings Indicated that American public opinion toward China had moved away from hostility and toward cooperation. The hearings had a long-term impact when Richard Nixon became president, discarded containment, and began a policy of détente with China.[12] The problem remained of how to deal simultaneously with the Chinese government on Taiwan after formal recognition was accorded to the Beijing government. The committee drafted the Taiwan Relations Act (US, 1979) which enabled the United States both to maintain friendly relations with Taiwan and to develop fresh relations with China.[13]
In response to conservative criticism that the state department lacked hardliners, President Ronald Reagan in 1981 nominated Ernest W. Lefever as Assistant Secretary of State. Lefever performed poorly at his confirmation hearings and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations rejected his nomination by vote of 4-13, prompting Lefever to withdraw his name.[14] Elliot Abrams filled the position.
Republican senator Jesse Helms, a staunch conservative, was committee chairman in the late 1990s. He pushed for reform of the UN by blocking payment of U.S. membership dues.[15]
Members, 117th Congress
Main article: 117th United States Congress
MajorityMinority
Subcommittees
SubcommitteesChairRanking Member
Africa and Global Health PolicyTim Kaine (D-VA)Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
East Asia, The Pacific, and International Cybersecurity PolicyEd Markey (D-MA)Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Europe and Regional Security CooperationJeanne Shaheen (D-NH)Ron Johnson (R-WI)
Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic, Energy and Environmental PolicyJeff Merkley (D-OR)Todd Young (R-IN)
Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and CounterterrorismChris Murphy (D-CT)Mitt Romney (R-UT)
State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International DevelopmentCory Booker (D-NJ)John Barrasso (R-WY)
Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women's IssuesBen Cardin (D-MD)Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Chairmen (1816–present)
1976 publication of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the occasion of its 160th anniversary
ChairmanPartyStateYears
James BarbourDemocratic RepublicanVirginia1816–1818
Nathaniel MaconDemocratic-RepublicanNorth Carolina1818–1819
James BrownDemocratic RepublicanLouisiana1819–1820
James BarbourDemocratic RepublicanVirginia1820–1821
Rufus KingFederalistNew York1821–1822
James BarbourDemocratic RepublicanVirginia1822–1825
Nathaniel MaconDemocratic-RepublicanNorth Carolina1825–1826
Nathan SanfordDemocratic-RepublicanNew York1826–1827
Nathaniel MaconDemocratic-RepublicanNorth Carolina1827–1828
Littleton TazewellDemocraticVirginia1828–1832
John ForsythDemocraticGeorgia1832–1833
William WilkinsDemocraticPennsylvania1833–1834
Henry ClayWhigKentucky1834–1836
James BuchananDemocraticPennsylvania1836–1841
William C. RivesWhigVirginia1841–1842
William S. ArcherWhigVirginia1842–1845
William AllenDemocraticOhio1845–1846
Ambrose H. SevierDemocraticArkansas1846–1848
Edward A. HanneganDemocraticIndiana1848–1849
Thomas Hart BentonDemocraticMissouri1849
William R. KingDemocraticAlabama1849–1850
Henry S. FooteDemocraticMississippi1850–1851
James M. MasonDemocraticVirginia1851–1861
Charles SumnerRepublicanMassachusetts1861–1871
Simon CameronRepublicanPennsylvania1871–1877
Hannibal HamlinRepublicanMaine1877–1879
William W. EatonDemocraticConnecticut1879–1881
Ambrose BurnsideRepublicanRhode Island1881
George F. EdmundsRepublicanVermont1881
William WindomRepublicanMinnesota1881–1883
John F. MillerRepublicanCalifornia1883–1886
John ShermanRepublicanOhio1886–1893
John T. MorganDemocraticAlabama1893–1895
John ShermanRepublicanOhio1895–1897
William P. FryeRepublicanMaine1897
Cushman DavisRepublicanMinnesota1897–1901
Shelby M. CullomRepublicanIllinois1901–1911
Augustus O. BaconDemocraticGeorgia1913–1914
William J. StoneDemocraticMissouri1914–1918
Gilbert M. HitchcockDemocraticNebraska1918–1919
Henry Cabot LodgeRepublicanMassachusetts1919–1924
William E. BorahRepublicanIdaho1924–1933
Key PittmanDemocraticNevada1933–1940
Walter F. GeorgeDemocraticGeorgia1940–1941
Tom ConnallyDemocraticTexas1941–1947
Arthur H. VandenbergRepublicanMichigan1947–1949
Tom ConnallyDemocraticTexas1949–1953
Alexander WileyRepublicanWisconsin1953–1955
Walter F. GeorgeDemocraticGeorgia1955–1957
Theodore F. GreenDemocraticRhode Island1957–1959
J. William FulbrightDemocraticArkansas1959–1975
John J. SparkmanDemocraticAlabama1975–1979
Frank ChurchDemocraticIdaho1979–1981
Charles H. PercyRepublicanIllinois1981–1985
Richard LugarRepublicanIndiana1985–1987
Claiborne PellDemocraticRhode Island1987–1995
Jesse HelmsRepublicanNorth Carolina1995–2001
Joe BidenDemocraticDelaware2001
Jesse HelmsRepublicanNorth Carolina2001
Joe BidenDemocraticDelaware2001–2003
Richard LugarRepublicanIndiana2003–2007
Joe BidenDemocraticDelaware2007–2009
John KerryDemocraticMassachusetts2009–2013
Bob MenendezDemocraticNew Jersey2013–2015
Bob CorkerRepublicanTennessee2015–2019
Jim RischRepublicanIdaho2019–2021
Bob MenendezDemocraticNew Jersey2021–present

Historical committee rosters
Members, 116th Congress
Main article: 116th United States Congress
MajorityMinority
SubcommitteesChairRanking Member
Africa and Global Health PolicyLindsey Graham (R-SC)Tim Kaine (D-VA)
East Asia, The Pacific, and International Cybersecurity PolicyCory Gardner (R-CO)Ed Markey (D-MA)
Europe and Regional Security CooperationRon Johnson (R-WI)Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and CounterterrorismMitt Romney (R-UT)Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic, Energy and Environmental PolicyTodd Young (R-IN)Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International DevelopmentJohn Barrasso (R-WY)Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women's IssuesMarco Rubio (R-FL)Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Members, 115th Congress
MajorityMinority
SubcommitteesChairRanking Member
Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and CounterterrorismJim Risch (R-ID)Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women's IssuesMarco Rubio (R-FL)Ben Cardin (D-MD) since February 6, 2018
Bob Menendez (D-NJ) until February 6, 2018
Europe and Regional Security CooperationRon Johnson (R-WI)Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Africa and Global Health PolicyJeff Flake (R-AZ)Cory Booker (D-NJ)
East Asia, The Pacific, and International Cybersecurity PolicyCory Gardner (R-CO)Ed Markey (D-MA)
Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic, Energy and Environmental PolicyTodd Young (R-IN)Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International DevelopmentJohnny Isakson (R-GA)Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Members, 114th Congress
MajorityMinority
Sources: 2015 Congressional Record, Vol. 161, Page S297 –297, 661–662
SubcommitteeChairRanking Member
Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and CounterterrorismJim Risch (R-Idaho)Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women's IssuesMarco Rubio (R-Fla.)Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
Europe and Regional Security CooperationRon Johnson (R-Wisc.)Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)
Africa and Global Health PolicyJeff Flake (R-Ariz.)Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
State Department and USAID Management, International Operations and Bilateral International DevelopmentRand Paul (R-Ky.)Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
East Asia, The Pacific and International Cybersecurity PolicyCory Gardner (R-Colo.)Ben Cardin (D-Md.)
International Development, Multilateral Institutions and International Economic, Energy and Environmental PolicyJohn Barrasso (R-Wyo.)Tom Udall (D-N.M.)
Members, 113th Congress
MajorityMinority
Sources: 2013 Congressional Record, Vol. 159, Page S297 –297, 661–662
Chris Murphy and another official from the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee inspecting burnt down printing press of Uthayan newspaper in Jaffna on December 7, 2013 while E. Saravanapavan, the Managing Director of the newspaper explaining something to him.
SubcommitteeChairRanking Member
International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy and Global Women's IssuesBarbara Boxer (D-CA)Rand Paul (R-KY)
East Asian and Pacific AffairsBen Cardin (D-MD)Marco Rubio (R-FL)
African AffairsChris Coons (D-DE)Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Western Hemisphere and Global Narcotics AffairsTom Udall (D-NM)John McCain (R-AZ)
European AffairsChris Murphy (D-CT)Ron Johnson (R-WI)
Near Eastern and South and Central Asian AffairsTim Kaine (D-VA)Jim Risch (R-ID)
International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs and International Environmental Protection, and Peace CorpsTim Kaine (D-VA), until 2013
Ed Markey (D-MA), from 2013
John Barrasso (R-WY)
See also
List of current United States Senate committees
Notes
^ Renamed from Committee on International Relations by the 110th Congress in January 2007.
References
  1. ^ History of the Committee
  2. ^ a b "Committee History & Rules | United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations". www.foreign.senate.gov. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  3. ^ Publisher, Author removed at request of original (November 16, 2016), "12.6 Committees", American Government and Politics in the Information Age, University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing edition, 2016. This edition adapted from a work originally produced in 2011 by a publisher who has requested that it not receive attribution., retrieved January 22, 2021
  4. ^ Joseph A. Fry, "John Tyler Morgan's Southern Expansionism," Diplomatic History (1985) 9#4 pp: 329-346.
  5. ^ Roland Young, Congressional Politics in the Second World War (1958), pp 168–96
  6. ^ Hachey, Thomas E. (Winter 1973–1974). "American Profiles on Capitol Hill: A Confidential Study for the British Foreign Office in 1943"(PDF). Wisconsin Magazine of History. 57 (2): 141–153. JSTOR 4634869. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 21, 2013.
  7. ^ James A. Gazell, "Arthur H. Vandenberg, Internationalism, and the United Nations." Political Science Quarterly (1973) pp: 375-394. in JSTOR
  8. ^ Hachey, Thomas E. (Winter 1973–1974). "American Profiles on Capitol Hill: A Confidential Study for the British Foreign Office in 1943"(PDF). Wisconsin Magazine of History. 57 (2): 141–153. JSTOR 4634869. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Hachey, Thomas E. (Winter 1973–1974). "American Profiles on Capitol Hill: A Confidential Study for the British Foreign Office in 1943"(PDF). Wisconsin Magazine of History. 57 (2): 141–153. JSTOR 4634869. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 21, 2013. Cite error: The named reference "hachey1973" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  10. ^ Hachey, Thomas E. (Winter 1973–1974). "American Profiles on Capitol Hill: A Confidential Study for the British Foreign Office in 1943"(PDF). Wisconsin Magazine of History. 57 (2): 141–153. JSTOR 4634869. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 21, 2013.
  11. ^ Hachey, Thomas E. (Winter 1973–1974). "American Profiles on Capitol Hill: A Confidential Study for the British Foreign Office in 1943"(PDF). Wisconsin Magazine of History. 57 (2): 141–153. JSTOR 4634869. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 21, 2013.
  12. ^ Katherine Klinefelter, "The China Hearings: America's Shifting Paradigm on China," Congress & the Presidency (2011) 38#1 pp: 60-76.
  13. ^ Jacob K. Javits, "Congress And Foreign Relations: The Taiwan Relations Act," Foreign Affairs (1981) 60#1 pp 54-62
  14. ^ Robert David Johnson (2005). Congress and the Cold War. Cambridge UO. pp. 253–54. ISBN 9781139447447.
  15. ^ William A. Link, Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism (2008)
  16. ^ Sen. Menendez voluntarily stepped down as Ranking Member on 1 April 2015 after being indicted by the Justice Department. Menendez Gives Up Foreign Relations Post
Further reading
Primary sources
Vandenberg, Arthur Hendrick, and Joe Alex Morris, eds. The private papers of Senator Vandenberg. (1952)
External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Last edited on 3 May 2021, at 05:57
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