About the Committee
Oversight Plan of the Committee
For the 112th Congress — February 9, 2011
Pursuant to Rule X, Clause 2(d) of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Foreign Affairs (hereinafter referred to as “the Committee”), has adopted this oversight plan for the two-year period of the 112th Congress, which is being submitted to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and to the Committee on House Administration not later than February 15, 2011. It describes areas in which the Committee intends to conduct oversight during this Congress, subject to the understanding that new developments will undoubtedly affect the Committee’s priorities and may change the oversight work of the Committee in the months ahead.
In the course of the Committee’s work regarding United States relations with foreign nations, the Committee’s oversight activities will emphasize: the elimination of waste, fraud, and abuse; institutional reform, efficiency, and fiscal discipline; effective implementation of U.S. law (particularly provisions relating to international terrorism and nonproliferation); and the promotion of core U.S. interests and values abroad, including the empowering and strengthening of our allies. These activities will include effective use and review of reports by the Government Accountability Office and by statutory Inspectors General, as well as Congressional Notifications submitted by executive branch agencies. Pursuant to House Rule X(2)(b)(2), the Committee is expanding its commitment to regular oversight by its subcommittees, both by changes to Committee Rule 14 (establishing a Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations) and by additions to Committee Rule 15 (requiring its regional Subcommittees to hold hearings on priority topics, including program oversight, at least twice a year). These changes will help the Committee to more than fulfill the triannual oversight hearing requirements of House Rule XI(n)(1).
Cognizant of the recently expanded requirements of House Rule X(2)(d)(1), the Committee has developed the plan detailed below as part of its commitment to:
- Consult with other committees that have jurisdiction over the same or related laws, programs, or agencies, in order to maximize coordination and cooperation;
- Review problematic and burdensome Federal rules, regulations, and laws;
- Prioritize the review of agencies and programs operating under permanent statutory authority;
- Work to ensure that all significant laws, programs, and agencies within its jurisdiction are subject to regular review; and
- Eliminate programs and expenditures that are inefficient, duplicative, or outdated.
Topics listed below may be the subject of any of the full range of Committee oversight activities, including Member or staff-level meetings, briefings, investigations, correspondence, fact-finding travel, hearings, markups, and legislation.
PRIORITY OVERSIGHT MATTERS Top
- AfghanistanThe Committee will address all aspects of U.S. policy toward Afghanistan, including but not exclusive to: the development and implementation of US policies and programs; the effectiveness of U.S. assistance programs and their authorization; the political-military strategy; the influence of malignant political activities and corruption—particularly corruption within the Afghanistan Government—on US efforts in Afghanistan; actors contributing to the capabilities of the Taliban and al-Qaeda; the effectiveness of the broader counter-narcotics and counter-threat finance strategy; the effectiveness of international reconstruction projects; the development, preparedness, training and equipping of the Afghan national security forces; the role of NATO Member States and their troop contributions, security and reconstruction contribution, and restrictive caveats in security and reconstruction matters; the impact of Pakistan’s policy on Afghanistan; the impact of Iranian activities in and around Afghanistan; progress on judicial reform and rule-of-law; human rights, including,the status of women and children; U.S.-Afghan trade development and promotion; and whether State Department and other U.S. Government assets and personnel are optimally and cost-effectively employed.
- PakistanThe Committee will review all elements of U.S. policy toward Pakistan, including efforts to eliminate safe havens for violent extremists and the importance of a stable, democratic Pakistan to regional stability in South Asia. This review will encompass all aspects of U.S. aid to Pakistan, both civilian and security assistance, in order to assess the extent to which such programs effectively advance U.S. national interests. Particular emphasis will be placed on reviewing civil-military plans to address violent militancy, including in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and adjacent regions, efforts to assist Pakistan to address extremism and unrest in other regions, challenges to governance, social and economic development, as well as efforts to promote democratic institutions and respect for human rights. The Committee will also conduct ongoing oversight of matters relating to Pakistan’s nuclear program, including issues relating to nonproliferation (such as the AQ Khan network) and security controls.
- IranThe Committee will continue to closely review U.S. policy to address the comprehensive threat posed by Iran to the United States and to U.S. interests and allies, including, but not exclusive to: Iran's ongoing efforts to develop and acquire nuclear capabilities to include a nuclear weapon; its unconventional weapons and ballistic missile development; and its state sponsorship of terrorism. The Committee will also review and investigate the status of U.S. efforts to fully implement all sanctions with respect to Iran under U.S. law, as well as the status and enforcement of multilateral sanctions regimes against Iran. The Committee will closely monitor the effect of Iran's diplomatic, economic and military activities, and its strategic objectives, including the extent of its influence on key parties and events in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yemen, the Gulf, and the West Bank and Gaza. Additionally, the Committee will also closely review Iranian activities worldwide, including in Europe, Asia, and particularly Africa and the Western Hemisphere. The Committee will also critically evaluate the policies of Russia, China, the European Union, the Gulf States, and other nations and international organizations toward Iran and its proxies, particularly their efforts to prevent or seriously impede Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability, as well as its pursuit of other destabilizing quantities and types of conventional weapons, non-conventional weapons and medium- and long-range ballistic missiles and its support for international terrorism. The Committee will also review Iran’s violations of the human rights of its own people, as well as U.S. and international efforts to highlight and hold Iran accountable for such abuses.
- Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and other Middle East FlashpointsThe Committee will carefully review U.S. policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including diplomatic efforts to resolve that conflict, as well as Israeli efforts to achieve peace and normalization with its other neighbors and to combat terrorism and other threats to its citizens and its existence. Within this context, the Committee will closely monitor U.S. economic, development, humanitarian, and security assistance to the Palestinians, including to ensure that such programs are in full compliance with U.S. law. The Committee will evaluate U.S. policy toward Lebanon, including U.S. democracy and security assistance, as well as examine ongoing challenges to domestic stability in Lebanon. In particular, the Committee will monitor the political and military/terrorist role played by Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian state sponsors, both in Lebanon and the region. The Committee will also closely monitor and review US policy and programs toward Yemen, including but not limited to security assistance and governance. The Committee will also closely review U.S. policy toward Syria, as well as the role played by the Government of Syria in sponsoring terrorism, pursuing unconventional weapons and missile capabilities, and attempting to undermine its neighbors. The Committee will monitor emerging threats and areas of instability within the Middle East and review prospects for political reform throughout the region. The Committee will also closely monitor the activities of U.S. regional envoys.
- North KoreaThe Committee will review the nuclear and missile threat posed by North Korea, its proliferation activities and weapon sales involving rogue regimes and designated terrorist organizations, its continuing human rights violations, and U.S. efforts to assist North Korean refugees. The Committee will review ongoing diplomatic efforts, including the inter-Korean dialogue, the implementation of the nuclear dismantlement and disarmament agreement, the succession issue, and will examine next steps in U.S. policy to address the North Korean threat.
- Foreign Assistance Reform and Program ImplementationThe Committee will review the underlying authorities for, and the planning, budgeting, programming of, U.S. foreign assistance. It will also review issues related to the subsequent implementation of U.S. foreign assistance programs and projects, including the role of U.S. missions and embassies. The Committee will review as well issues related to coordination between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other U.S. Government agencies and departments that are involved in carrying out U.S. foreign assistance. In addition, the Committee will review the changing role of USAID in developing foreign assistance policy, implementation issues facing the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the effectiveness and sustainability of development assistance programs implemented by the Peace Corps, the implementation of food aid programs and the trade title of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the “Farm Bill”), and other issues.
Among a broad range of issues, the Committee will review U.S. foreign assistance funding, initiatives and programs aimed at addressing global health challenges in a cost-effective manner, including monitoring the implementation of the Lantos-Hyde United States Global Leadership against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008. Reviews will also be conducted regarding the potential for cost-effective innovation in U.S. assistance programs targeted at the expansion of access to basic education, clean water and sanitation, renewable energy and other efforts to support the most impoverished in recipient countries.
The Committee will consider the continued relevance of the provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and other foreign assistance authorities, including the Support for East European Democracy Act and the FREEDOM Support Act. In addition, the Committee will review the underlying justifications and effectiveness of U.S. assistance programs, including, but not limited to, examining: the concept of aid-assisted, planned development that has underpinned U.S. assistance programs since the enactment of the Foreign Assistance Act; the potential role of public-private partnerships and market-based mechanisms in improving the efficiency and sustainability of development efforts; and the use of small-scale, recipient–driven initiatives (such as micro-enterprise financing, small-scale health, education and benefit vouchers, and community-run, self-financing cooperatives) instead of larger organizations with greater overhead and bureaucracy.
In this period of increased, global extremism, the Committee also considers it important to review the concepts underlying the utilization of development assistance programs in support of counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism efforts and the record of success of such programs in supporting the objectives of those efforts. The appropriate “vetting” of U.S assistance programs, in order to ensure that aid funds are prevented from going to prohibited recipients, will also be a focus of the Committee’s reviews.
- Security Assistance and Arms Transfer PolicyThe Committee will assess the design, implementation and effectiveness of U.S. security assistance programs in advancing U.S. foreign policy goals and security interests, including Foreign Military Sales and Foreign Military Financing (FMS and FMF), the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capabilities Fund (PCCF), Peacekeeping Operations (PKO), Economic Support Funds (ESF), International Military Education and Training (IMET), International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, draw downs, Excess Defense Article transfers, antiterrorism, nonproliferation and export control assistance (including for new or aspiring NATO member states and countries with illicit transshipment concerns). In addition, the Committee will review those security assistance programs funded by the Department of Defense but which require concurrence by the Secretary of State, or otherwise give rise to this Committee’s jurisdiction. The Committee also will review U.S. arms transfer policy, particularly to ensure that such transfers appropriately advance U.S. foreign policy and national security interests. The Committee will seek to ensure that such sales are consistent with criteria in the U.S. Conventional Arms Transfer policy, including interoperability with the host nation and the impact on the U.S. defense industrial base. The Committee will also assess end-use monitoring programs administered by the Departments of State and Defense. Additional emphasis will also be placed on transfer policy with respect to unmanned aerial vehicles, the extent to which arms sale policy toward Taiwan is consistent with U.S. obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act, and implementation of defense trade treaties with the United Kingdom and Australia.
- State Department and Related Agencies Oversight, Authorization, and ReformThe Committee will monitor and examine the operations, budget, programs, planning, personnel, building, and security policies of the Department of State, with an eye toward authorization and reform legislation for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013 that promotes U.S. national interests in a cost-effective and accountable manner. In addition to hearings with the Secretary of State and other Administration officials regarding their budget proposals for the upcoming year, such efforts may include: examination and reform of the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors; review of Foreign Service pay, incentive, and promotion policies; consideration of reforms to Executive Branch reporting requirements; active review of U.S. public diplomacy programs; and an examination of consular processes, including passport and visa security issues. The Committee also will actively monitor and review the operations and organization of the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the full range of U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting. The Committee also will examine the operations, budget, programs, planning, and long-term staffing needs of the Peace Corps in carrying out its responsibilities to further U.S. national interests. The Committee also will review the adequacy of Peace Corps administrative procedures to provide for the safety and security of Volunteers serving in often remote corners of the globe.
- Assessing a Rising ChinaThe Committee will review the degree to which China has failed to become a responsible stakeholder in the international system of states in dealing with situations such as in Iran, North Korea, Burma, and Sudan. It will also review China’s continued military buildup, growing role in Africa and the Western Hemisphere, and China’s growing role in the world economy, including trade and currency issues which adversely affect the American workforce. The Committee will also review human rights, including suppression of the Tibetans, Uyghurs, Falun Gong, North Korean refugees and political, religious and internet dissidents, corruption, environmental damage and social unrest in China. Assess U.S. policy in reducing the role of China in the proliferation of WMD and missiles, especially with regard to Iran and North Korea.
- U.S.-Russian RelationsThe Committee will review U.S. strategic interests and objectives with regard to Russia, including President Obama’s policy of a “reset” of the U.S.-Russia relationship and the implications of that policy. The Committee will also review various aspects of Russia’s foreign policy under the leadership of Russian President Medvedev and Russian Prime Minister Putin, including: the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008 and its continued occupation of parts of that country; intimidating statements aimed at neighboring countries by Russian officials; the continued basing of Russian troops in a separatist region in Moldova; Russia’s continuing efforts to utilize its economic ties and its vast energy resources as a means of affecting the politics and foreign policies of neighboring states and the member-states of the European Union; Russia’s continuing willingness to sell arms to China, Venezuela, Syria, and certain other countries and the question as to whether such sales are intended to promote regional instability; all aspects of Russian-Iranian relations; Russia’s interest to bind or halt U.S. efforts to develop and deploy strategic missile defenses; and so on. The Committee will assess U.S. policy with regard to support for Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization, in light of the content and impact of Russia’s foreign policy.
The Committee also will review the worsening situation in Russia with regard to respect for human rights, democratic governance and the proper rule of law, including specifically the restrictions, both direct and indirect, that have been imposed on the mass media in Russia over the past decade. It will review the increasingly corrupt business and economic environment in Russia, and the projected demographic decline in that country and the growing threat to it on the part of Islamic extremist movements.
- SudanThe Committee will review U.S. policy toward and assistance for Sudan, particularly as the interim period mandated under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Sudan concludes in July 2011, and peace efforts in Darfur continue. The anticipated partition of the country between North and South and the ongoing conflict in Darfur will require a critical review of current authorities and sanctions in force pursuant to the Sudan Peace Act, the Comprehensive Peace in Sudan Act of 2004, the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act of 2006, and related Acts. The Committee also will review Sudan’s status as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and the future status of United Nations Peacekeeping Missions in Southern Sudan and Darfur.
- International Terrorism and EspionageThe Committee will examine the current status of al-Qaeda, its efforts to obtain WMD, its changing organizational structure as it becomes a more decentralized organization, its relationship and cooperation with other radical Islamic terrorist organizations, the extent to which it is inspiring new terrorist groups around the world, and its current recruitment effort. Explore existing U.S. Government strategy to deal with terrorists and the degree to which such efforts are based on systematic analysis; review various alternatives to win the long-term struggle against the ideologies of those who use terrorism. Oversight of the State Department's Antiterrorism Assistance Program, terrorism financing efforts, and coordination of diplomatic initiatives with foreign governments in the global war on terrorism. Oversight of the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, etc., regarding their work on international aspects of terrorism and efforts by foreign intelligence services to threaten U.S. interests. Dangers posed by other Middle East-based terrorist groups. The threat of extremist ideology and terrorist organizations in Latin America and Africa, and the U.S. policies to address those threats including but not limited to those implemented through the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, the East Africa Regional Security Initiative, Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act, and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). Explore the activities of Southeast Asian terrorist groups. The Committee will review: border security programs; the security of U.S. Government facilities abroad; the expenditure of post security funds, to include a review of personnel increases and asset management to minimize cost of property acquisition; and the Federal Government’s effort to coordinate international counterterrorism programs through the State Department.
- U.S. Security, Economic, and Foreign Policy Interests in the Western HemisphereThe Committee will conduct oversight regarding the manner in which U.S. funds are allocated, implemented, and monitored to carry out large-scale assistance programs, such as the Merida Initiative in Mexico and recovery efforts in Haiti. The Committee will assess the impact of regimes, including Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Cuba, on U.S. and regional interests and in this context, will examine actions by the Executive Branch to uphold and advance U.S. interests in the region. The Committee will also investigate the growing nexus between narcotrafficking, organized crime, terrorist organizations (including regional and Islamist groups), and examine the increasing influence of Iran in the hemisphere and its implications for U.S. national security.
- Human Rights and DemocracyIn both hearings and staff-level oversight activities, the Committee will examine the content and efficacy of annual, statutory human rights reporting, including the “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices,” the “Annual Report on International Religious Freedom,” and the “Trafficking in Persons Report.” The Committee will review implementation, compliance, and reporting, and – where necessary – will reauthorize and revise key human rights statutes, including the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004, and other statutes, as appropriate. The Committee will assess U.S. refugee and asylum policy generally, and specific refugee-protection efforts as events and circumstances dictate. The Committee will review U.S. activities to promote democracy and human rights protections around the world, and critically assess U.S. involvement with multilateral human rights mechanisms, to ensure that U.S. diplomacy serves to promote fundamental human rights and freedoms. Pursuant to a new Committee rule, the Committee will require each of its regional subcommittees to hold hearings on regional human rights issues at least twice a year.
- U.S. Nonproliferation PolicyThe Committee will exercise oversight over U.S. nonproliferation policies, especially those involving the Department of State, and evaluate the extent to which they are achieving their stated objectives. The Committee will evaluate the adequacy of existing resources in accomplishing those objectives. The Committee will monitor and evaluate the global expansion of civil nuclear power and its consequences for the spread of technology, equipment and material useful in the development of nuclear weapons capabilities and also evaluate the need for modifications of relevant U.S. policies. The Committee will review and exercise its jurisdiction regarding proposed and existing bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements between the United States and other countries and address the need for reform of the Atomic Energy Act. The Committee will review and evaluate the performance of the Proliferation Security Initiative and consider measures to improve its effectiveness. The Committee will evaluate the record of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in meeting its responsibilities regarding nonproliferation and in the effective use of its resources. In particular, it will examine the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Program and address the need to prevent further assistance being provided to countries such as Iran which are in violation of their IAEA safeguards. The Committee will also examine developments affecting the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and consider polices to strengthen its ability to prevent nuclear proliferation.
- United Nations and International Organizations Oversight and ReformThe Committee will closely review all aspects of U.S. funding of and participation in international organizations, particularly with respect to whether U.S. funding and participation is advancing U.S. interests and values, protecting the integrity of U.S. taxpayer dollars, and leading to increased transparency, accountability, and reform of those organizations. The Committee will also assess the extent to those organizations, including the United Nations, fulfill their mandates and realize their founding objectives. Professional, ethical, transparent, and accountable management of UN programs is essential to the ability of international organizations to fulfill their mandates and realize their founding objectives and, therefore, the Committee will conduct thorough, ongoing oversight of the management and operations of international organizations. In addition, the Committee will examine UN reform legislation and the implementation of past such legislation, progress of additional international organization reform efforts, and oversight of the effectiveness of the promotion and protection of human rights within the United Nations system. The Committee will also explore existing and new alternatives to advance U.S. interests and uphold U.S. values in international organizations. The Committee will closely monitor the work of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Support, particularly efforts to improve performance, enhance accountability, and combat waste, fraud and abuse in United Nations Peacekeeping Missions. The Committee will also closely review the activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including, but not exclusive to, the Technical Cooperation Program. The Committee will closely examine bias against the U.S. and democratic U.S. allies at international organizations, particularly the Jewish, democratic State of Israel. The Committee also will examine the allocation and efficacy of U.S. assessed and voluntary contributions to the Organization of American States.
- Central AsiaThe Committee will assess U.S. policy interests with regard to Central Asia and review the programs and steps that have been undertaken over the past two decades in support of U.S. efforts to assist in the consolidation of the sovereignty of the states of the region, the promotion of human rights, democratic governance and proper rule of law in those states, and the diversification of export markets for energy supplies from the region. It will review the growing threat radical Islam poses to the Central Asian countries. The Committee will also review U.S. security cooperation with the Central Asian countries, including their role in supporting stabilization efforts in nearby Afghanistan.
- GeorgiaThe Committee will review possible policy steps by the U.S. in support of the restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity in the wake of Russia’s 2008 invasion and continued occupation of parts of Georgia, including any steps taken by the U.S. to help deter future Russian aggression against Georgia.
- U.S.-European RelationsThe Committee will review bilateral U.S. relationships with European nations and the U.S. relationship with the European Union, including the issue of the shared commitment to adequate defense spending by the NATO allies in Europe and the E.U. and the actual degree of sharing of the defense budget burden among the NATO allies. The Committee will also review proposals and actions taken by European NATO allies and E.U. member-states to sell arms and military technology to Russia and China, both of which are currently ruled by authoritarian regimes that have little respect for the democratic governance and human rights, and, in the case of Russia, have engaged in aggressive military action toward a neighboring, sovereign state. The Committee will assess the state of Islamic extremism in Europe and the impact that may have on U.S. security as well as the status of coordination between the European states, the European Union and the U.S. in the area of counter-terrorism and the tracking of terrorist financing. The Committee will also assess the issue of the willingness of the NATO allies and the E.U. to undertake leading roles in military and security operations supporting peace and stability around the world. An assessment will also be conducted by the Committee regarding the willingness of European states and the E.U. to work with the U.S. in support of democracy and human rights, both in their memberships in multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and in their relations with authoritarian countries such as China, Venezuela and Cuba and others.
- IraqU.S. involvement in Iraq remains one of the most critical issues for U.S. foreign policy. The Committee will carefully review all aspects of U.S. policy, including, but not exclusive to: the implementation of the Strategic Framework and Status of Forces Agreement between the United States and Iraq; internal political developments and trends including Iraq’s prospects for transition to a secure and stable democracy; U.S. assistance programs; U.S. security assistance, security cooperation and arms sales; the quantitative and qualitative development of the Iraqi security forces; regional and international diplomatic efforts to help stabilize Iraq and re-integrate Iraq into various regional and international organizations and forums; displaced Iraqis; the role of external financial and material support—particularly from Iran—for insurgents, militias and terrorist groups in Iraq; and the full range of policies and programs related to the transition to a State Department lead, including policies, programs and budgeting processes.
- TaiwanThe Committee will monitor China’s continuing military buildup, including missiles, directed at Taiwan, the needs of Taiwan for defensive weapons systems as provided for in the Taiwan Relations Act, the détente in cross-Strait relations, including implementation of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), U.S.-Taiwan trade relations, the feasibility of inclusion of Taiwan in the visa waiver program, current developments in Taiwan’s democracy and Taiwan's efforts to expand its international space by obtaining observer status in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
- BurmaThe Committee will monitor the lack of democratic progress following the 2010 highly flawed election, the continued egregious human rights violations of the Burmese junta, the continued flow of refugees from Burma, the regime’s treatment of Aung San Suu Kyi and of political prisoners, and the implementation of sanctions as mandated in the Block Burmese JADE Act and previous legislation, and the engagement policy of the Administration.
- Export Control ReformThe Committee will conduct ongoing oversight over proposed Executive Branch changes to U.S. strategic export controls. In particular, the review will include an assessment of the extent to which proposed changes to the current export control system effectively safeguard critical technologies and U.S. national security while promoting U.S. commercial interests. It also will involve scrutiny of administrative efforts to restructure the U.S. Munitions List (USML) and Commerce Control List (CCL), including by creating “tiered” control criteria based on “positive lists” of controlled items, proposed removal of items from the Munitions List, as well as related initiatives to simplify licensing processes and better coordinate export control enforcement. The Committee will consider any legislative proposals on these and related matters as may be necessary and appropriate.
- EgyptThe Committee will review U.S. policy toward Egypt, including efforts to encourage sustainable political and economic reforms, as well as transition toward greater freedom, democracy, prosperity, and respect for human rights. The Committee will also monitor security cooperation with Egypt and the Egyptian military’s role with respect to the stability and security of that nation in support of the welfare of the Egyptian people. The Committee will review Egypt’s behavior with respect to preservation of peace and security with its neighbors, as well as Egypt’s adherence to its international obligations, including its peace treaty with Israel. The Committee will monitor efforts by some foreign governments and by extremist non-state actors to exploit any political and security vacuums in that country. Within these contacts, the Committee will also assess U.S. economic and security assistance to Egypt. Finally, the Committee will monitor and assess instability and transformation within the Middle East arising from public expressions of opposition to authoritarian regimes.
GENERAL REVIEW OF U.S. FOREIGN POLICY Top
The Committee intends to exercise its oversight jurisdiction concerning the relations of the United States with foreign nations to the fullest extent allowed by House Rule X(1)(h). This means taking cognizance of events and circumstances in every region of the world outside of U.S. national borders, as well as U.S. foreign policy responses thereto, as developments warrant.
According to Committee Rules those responsibilities will be divided among the Full Committee, its five regional subcommittees, and its two functional subcommittees as follows:
- Full CommitteeThe full Committee will be responsible for oversight and legislation relating to: foreign assistance (including development assistance, Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Millennium Challenge Account, HIV/AIDS in foreign countries, security assistance, and Public Law 480 programs abroad); the Peace Corps; national security developments affecting foreign policy; strategic planning and agreements; war powers, treaties, executive agreements, and the deployment and use of United States Armed Forces; peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and enforcement of United Nations or other international sanctions; arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament issues; the United States Agency for International Development; activities and policies of the State, Commerce and Defense Departments and other agencies related to the Arms Export Control Act, and the Foreign Assistance Act including export and licensing policy for munitions items and technology and dual-use equipment and technology; international law; promotion of democracy; international law enforcement issues, including narcotics control programs and activities; Broadcasting Board of Governors; embassy security; international broadcasting; public diplomacy, including international communication, information policy, international education, and cultural programs; and all other matters not specifically assigned to a subcommittee. The Full Committee will have jurisdiction over legislation with respect to the administration of the Export Administration Act, including the export and licensing of dual-use equipment and technology and other matters related to international economic policy and trade not otherwise assigned to a subcommittee and with respect to the United Nations, its affiliated agencies and other international organizations, including assessed and voluntary contributions to such organizations. The Full Committee may conduct oversight with respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the Committee as defined in the Rules of the House of Representatives.
- Subcommittees with Functional Jurisdiction
- Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade—Oversight and legislative responsibilities over the United States’ efforts to manage and coordinate international programs to combat terrorism as coordinated by the Department of State and other agencies , and efforts to bring international terrorists to justice. With the concurrence of the Chairman of the Full Committee, oversight of, and legislation pertaining to, nonproliferation matters involving nuclear, chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction, except for legislation involving the Foreign Assistance Act, the Arms Export Control Act, the Export Administration Act, and sanctions laws pertaining to individual countries and the provision of foreign assistance (which is reserved to the Full Committee). Oversight of matters relating to international economic and trade policy; commerce with foreign countries; international investment policy; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade and Development Agency; commodity agreements; and special oversight of international financial and monetary institutions; the Export-Import Bank, and customs. With the concurrence of the Chairman of the Full Committee, legislative jurisdiction over measures related to export promotion and measures related to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade and Development Agency.
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations—With the concurrence of the Chairman of the Full Committee, oversight and investigations of all matters within the jurisdiction of the Committee.
- Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights—In addition to its regional jurisdiction (described below), responsibility for oversight of international health issues, including transboundary infectious diseases and programs related to enhancing global capacity to address health issues, population issues, legislation and oversight pertaining to implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other matters relating to internationally-recognized human rights, including legislation aimed at the promotion of human rights and democracy generally.
- Subcommittees with Regional JurisdictionThe five subcommittees with regional jurisdiction are: the Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia (including Central Asia); the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia; the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere; the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights; and the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. The regional subcommittees have jurisdiction over the following within their respective regions:
- Matters affecting the political relations between the United States and other countries and regions, including resolutions or other legislative measures directed to such relations.
- Legislation with respect to disaster assistance outside the Foreign Assistance Act, boundary issues, and international claims.
- Legislation with respect to region- or country-specific loans or other financial relations outside the Foreign Assistance Act.
- Legislation and oversight regarding human rights practices in particular countries.
- Oversight of regional lending institutions.
- Oversight of matters related to the regional activities of the United Nations, of its affiliated agencies, and of other multilateral institutions.
- Identification and development of options for meeting future problems and issues relating to U.S. interests in the region.
- Oversight of base rights and other facilities access agreements and regional security pacts.
- Concurrent oversight jurisdiction with respect to matters assigned to the functional subcommittees insofar as they may affect the region.
- Oversight of foreign assistance activities affecting the region, with the concurrence of the Chairman of the Full Committee.
- Such other matters as the Chairman of the Full Committee may determine.
TRANSNATIONAL ISSUES Top
In addition to those highlighted above:
- International Crime—Growing links between organized crime, illicit drugs, and global terrorism. Impact of U.S. foreign assistance on advancing the rule of law and anticorruption activities on U.S. ability to combat international crime. International criminal organizations in Africa. Oversight of existing International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA). Impact of international trafficking of humans, arms, and narcotics; document fraud; and money laundering. International trafficking of women and children: sexual exploitation, labor slavery, “camel jockeying,” and child soldiers. International intellectual property piracy issues: how piracy is being used to support international crime and terrorism, and its impact on the American economy. International economic espionage and how it hurts American business and interests. Extraterritorial prosecutions of U.S. law violations. Cooperation with INTERPOL.
- Narcotics—The Committee will undertake a comprehensive review of Western Hemisphere counternarcotics initiatives, including the level of coordination among and within U.S. agencies implementing counternarcotics programs in the region and the impact of these initiatives on traditional bilateral assistance programs. The Committee will examine: global patterns of narcotrafficking, with a particular focus on trends from Africa to South America, and the impact of this activity on the stability and security of these regions; U.S. counternarcotics policy in Afghanistan.Eradication efforts and their effectiveness; alternative development; the "certification process" and the annual determinations for major drug producing and transit nations around the globe; the role of narcotics trafficking in terror financing.
- AIDS Pandemic and Other Global Health Threats—The Committee will review global health challenges from all perspectives, examining whether U.S. policy is responsive, coordinated and effective in combating global outbreaks of viral and infectious diseases. The Committee will assess and review the global burden of disease and the relationship between health and development. The Committee will monitor closely the implementation of the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008.
- International Criminal Tribunals—Monitor activities of the International Criminal Court and its ongoing prosecutions and investigations, and the status of Article 98 agreements and laws restricting aid to countries which have not signed Article 98 agreements with the United States; monitor the activities of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.
ECONOMIC POLICY, TRADE, AND THE ENVIRONMENT Top
- The Committee will exercise oversight regarding U.S. trade policy and developments in the international trading system. Areas of special interest include progress on the free trade agreements already signed with Colombia, Panama, and Korea; the Andean Trade Promotion Act (ATPA); discriminatory Chinese economic policy; and Russian accession to the World Trade Organization. In addition, the Committee will review U.S. policy to protect U.S. intellectual property rights in other countries, especially China and Russia.
- WTO negotiations regarding the Doha Development Round and implications for U.S. interests.
- Trade distorting actions by foreign governments (bribery, economic espionage, manipulation of currencies and customs rules, import licensing, skewing health and safety standards, etc.); Mutual Recognition Agreements ("MRAs"); and efforts by other foreign governments to implement the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.
- International financial conditions and the evolving role of the International Monetary Fund.
- Oversight of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the extent to which it effectively carries out its mission to advance U.S. foreign policy interests by mobilizing and facilitating the participation of U.S. private capital and skills in the economic and social development of less-developed countries, including countries in transition from non-market to market economies.
- Oversight of the Export Administration Act (EAA), including the potential need for reauthorizing legislation. Additional areas of oversight will include foreign policy-based and other reasons for control, implementation of Title III of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, regulatory developments, licensing policy and caseloads, the Validated End-User Program, export enforcement, and outreach to industry and small business.
- International energy policy issues—including the development of traditional and renewable sources of energy; energy transit routes; and the U.S. dependence on foreign sources of oil.
- Development of private sector and market economies, including Enterprise Funds. United States commercial diplomacy, including oversight of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), Commerce Department trade promotion activities, as well as the international economic and foreign policy implications of export credit financing abroad.
- The adoption of international and foreign government product standards.
- U.S. environmental policies and global environmental conditions.
- Implementation of United States sanctions policy against Iran, Burma, and other regimes by the Departments of Commerce, State, and Treasury.
- Review of international fisheries agreements and international maritime law.
- Oversight of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and its efforts to promote the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies.