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The United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs of the United States
House of Representatives, also known as the House Foreign Affairs
Committee, is a standing committee of the United States House of
Representatives. In the United States Congress, standing committees are
permanent legislative panels established by the United States House of
Representatives and United States Senate rules. Due to their permanent nature,
these committees exist beyond the adjournment of each two-year meeting of

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs considers legislation that impacts the
diplomatic community, which includes the Department of State, the Agency for
International Development (USAID), the Peace Corps, the United Nations, and the
enforcement of the Arms Export Control Act.

The members of the committee are chosen to represent eaither the majority or
minority party. Out of the 47 current members, 26 are from the majority party
which is the republican party and 21 are from the minority party which is the
democratic party

The chairman is always selected from the majority party and the ranking member
is the most senior member of the minority party. The majority party ensures it
has a majority on every committee.

2.History of the Committee

The House of Representatives Committee on International Relations traces its
origins to November 29, 1775, when the Continental Congress created a
committee, by resolution "for the sole purposes of corresponding with our friends
of Great Britain, Ireland, and other parts of the world." Chosen for this committee
were Benjamin Franklinwho served as chairman and guiding spiritBenjamin
Harrison, Thomas Johnson, Jr., John Dickinson, and John Jay.
Originally known as the Committee of Correspondence, then as the Committee of
Secret Correspondence, it was the first institution created to represent the United
States in the foreign affairs field. . Under Benjamin Franklins leadership,
the committee quickly entered into communication with various persons
in Europe for the purpose of ascertaining sentiment there toward the
Colonies and obtaining any other information which might be useful in
the struggle with England, even designating its own secret agents
After the Congress of the United States was organized under the
Constitution in 1789, select committees to oversee foreign affairs were
appointed." In 1807, during the Jefferson Presidency, a House
committee was established in response to predatory actions by both the
French and British against American commercial shipping. Following the
British search and seizure of the U.S. frigate Chesapeake miles off the
Virginia coast, the House appointed a special Foreign Relations
Committee, known as the Aggression Committee. Its findings led
President Madison to send a war message to Congress on June 1, 1812,
and three days later, the House of Representatives passed the first
declaration of war by a vote of 79 to 49. Ten years after the War of
1812, seven inaugural Members of Congress co-founded the Committee
on Foreign Affairs, newly designated a standing committee of the House
of Representatives.
The House Committee on Foreign Affairs has had many different names
throughout its history, some include: originally the Committee of
Correspondence, then Committee of Secret Correspondence, and even more
recently, the Committee on International Relations
3. Jurisdiction and tasks

The 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 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.

Subcommittees' Jurisdiction

The subcommittee has jurisdiction over the following within Sub-Saharan Africa:
(1) Matters affecting the political relations between the United States and other
countries and regions, including resolutions or other legislative measures directed
to such relations; (2) Legislation with respect to disaster assistance outside the
Foreign Assistance Act, boundary issues, and international claims; (3) Legislation
with respect to region- or country-specific loans or other financial relations
outside the Foreign Assistance Act; (4) Legislation and oversight regarding human
rights practices in particular countries; (5) Oversight of regional lending
institutions; (6) Oversight of matters related to the regional activities of the
United Nations, of its affiliated agencies, and of other multilateral institutions; (7)
Identification and development of options for meeting future problems and issues
relating to U.S. interests in the region; (8) Oversight of base rights and other
facilities access agreements and regional security pacts; (9) Concurrent oversight
jurisdiction with respect to matters assigned to the functional subcommittees
insofar as they may affect the region; (10) Oversight of foreign assistance
activities affecting the region, with the concurrence of the Chairman of the full
Committee; and (11) Such other matters as the Chairman of the full Committee
may determine.

Importance of Committee
Though the Executive Branch does take the lead on nearly every aspect of
foreign policy, the congressional committees have used their "power of the
purse" to exert influence upon the Presidents agenda. In 1947, after lengthy
hearings in the House Foreign Affairs Committee (as the House Committee on
International Relations was called after one of several name changes), the
Marshall Planthe Economic Cooperation Act of 1948was agreed to by a vote
of 329 to 74. This support of the Administrations proposal draws a stark
comparison to the use of the purse in 1970, to curb the expansion of the
geographic region that the U.S. would deploy forces. To end U.S. participation
decisively in Vietnam, on August 15, 1973, Congress prohibited the use of funds
that would directly, or indirectly, support combat activities in North and South
Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia. The Vietnam War encouraged the committee to
scrutinize the actions of the Executive Branch more closely, and the role of the
House International Relations Committee has, as a result, gained more prestige
and earned more respect.
In 1985, the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Dante B.
Fascell, coordinated efforts with the Chairman of the House Budget Committee to
introduced H.R. 1460, the " Anti-Apartheid Act of 1985," which was later limited
by the Executive Order of President Reagan. Legislation now heralded as having
been pivotal to ending the Apartheid government in South Africa can be credited
to the Africa Subcommittee, which approved H.R. 4868 to increase economic
sanctions, which was enacted over President Reagans veto, with a vote of 313 to
83 in the House and 78 to 21 in the Senate. Legislation passed through the
Committee on International Relations has affected citizens of the U.S. and the
rest of the world.
Throughout history, the committee has been composed of some of Americas
most able legislators and statesmen. Two American Presidents have served on it:
James K. Polk, from 1827 to 1931, and John Quincy Adams, who became
Chairman in 1842 after he returned to the House following his term as the Chief
Executive. In more recent times, J. Danforth Quayle, former Vice President, served
on the committee in the 96th Congress.
Many former Chairmen of the Committee have their names written in history

Rep. Ed Royce represents Southern Californias 39th Congressional District, which
includes Fullerton where Ed and his wife, businesswoman Marie Royce, have
long resided. As chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce is a
leader in the global fight to advance human rights, free and fair elections, and
solutions to promote security and economic growth.

Now serving his 13th term in Congress, Chairman Royce has built a strong record
as an effective legislator and common-sense conservative. In 2014, he
spearheaded bipartisan congressional opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement
warning that the deal fails to shut off the regimes path to a nuclear weapon.
Today he continues to lead efforts to hold Iran accountable for its dangerous and
provocative acts, while also pushing for robust policies to take the fight to radical
Islamist terrorists both on the ground and over the Internet.

Chairman Royces southern California district is home to one of Americas largest

Asian American populations, and he is particularly concerned by the illicit
weapons programs and the human rights abuses of North Koreas Kim Jong Un.
In early 2016, he led the Congress in overwhelmingly passing legislation to
strengthen sanctions on the Kim regime, which prompted the U.N. Security
Council to follow with its own multilateral sanctions.

As a former chairman of the Africa subcommittee, Chairman Royce has long

advocated for market-driven policies that help lift people out of poverty. He led
bipartisan efforts to spur trade through the African Growth and Opportunity Act,
and recently played a key role in the enactment of the Electrify Africa Act to
promote development of affordable and reliable energy

Ranking Member
Congressman Engel is the Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs
Committee. He also serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee including
the Subcommittee on Health, and the Subcommittee on Communications and
Technology. He is the founder and Co-Chair of the House Oil and National Security
Caucus, which is seeking clean, energy efficient alternatives to America's over-
reliance on oil. He also sits on the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, the
Bipartisan Task Force for Combatting Anti-Semitism, the HIV/AIDS Caucus, the
Long Island Sound Caucus, and the Animal Protection Caucus, among others.

Congressman Engel was born in the Bronx on February 18, 1947. He grew up in a
city housing project and attended New York City public schools. In 1969, he
graduated from Hunter-Lehman College with a B.A. in History and received a
Master's Degree in Guidance and Counseling in 1973 from Herbert H. Lehman
College of the City University of New York. In 1987, he received a law degree from
New York Law School.

For twelve years prior to his election to Congress, Mr. Engel served in the New
York State Assembly (1977-1988), where he chaired the Committee on Alcoholism
and Substance Abuse, as well as the Subcommittee on Mitchell-Lama Housing.
Prior to that, he was a teacher and guidance counselor in the New York City public
school system.

A lifelong resident of the Bronx, Congressman Engel is married to Pat Engel. They
have three children.


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2005

The governments human rights record remained poor; although there were
improvements in some areas, serious problems remained. The security situation
in sensitive return areas and police responsiveness to incidents targeting minority
returnees did not improve. The following problems were reported: deaths from
landmines physical abuse by police officials overcrowding and poor conditions
in prisons improper influence on the judiciary by nationalist elements, political
parties, and the executive branch pressure and harassment of the media by
authorities and dominant political parties official restrictions on activity by
religious minorities political, ethnic, and religious violence official obstruction
of the return of displaced persons widespread perception of government
corruption two of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavias
(ICTY) most wanted war crimes suspects, Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic,
remained at large discrimination against women, ethnic minorities, persons
with disabilities, and sexual minorities trafficking in persons limits on workers

Country Reports on Religious Freedom for 2005

Overall, respect for religious freedom declined during the reporting period: the
number of attacks on religious officials and religious buildings increased
markedly. A number of illegally constructed religious objects continued to cause
ethnic/reli gious tension and conflict in a number of communities. Religious
communities continued to support and advocate refugee returns for their
respective constituencies; however, the number of returns significantly declined
during the reporting period. The return process suffered from a lack of funding for
reconstruction of housing and infrastructure, local governments inability or
unwillingness to provide necessary services to allow for sustainable returns, and
a lack of employment opportunities. The state Law on Religious Freedom
protecting the rights of religious communities and creating a government registry
allowing them to establish legal status was being implemented by the end of the
period covered by this report. Religious intolerance in the country directly reflects
ethnic intolerance because of the virtually indistinguishable identification of
ethnicity with ones religious background. Bosniaks generally are associated with
Islam, Bosnian Croats with the Roman Catholic Church, and Bosnian Serbs with
the Serb Orthodox Church. The Jewish community maintains a very small but
important presence in Bosnian society. Despite the constitutional and legal
provisions protecting religious freedom, discrimination against religious minorities
occurs in virtually all parts of the country. In some communities, local religious
leaders and politicians contributed to intolerance and an increase in nationalist
feeling through public statements and on occasion in sermons. Religious symbols
were often misused for political purposes. The U.S. Government discusses
religious freedom issues with the Government and leaders from the four
traditional religious communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of its overall
policy to promote human rights and reconciliation.