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Committee on International Relations

Oversight Plan of the Committee
109th Congress
(Adopted February 9, 2005)

Rule X, clause 2 (d) of the Rules of the House of Representatives requires that each standing Committee adopt an oversight plan for the two-year period of the Congress and submit the plan to the Committees on Government Reform and House Administration not later than February 15 of the first session of the Congress. Rule XI, clause 1 (d) requires that the Committee report, at the end of each Congress, on the recommendations made with respect to its oversight plan and any recommendations made or actions taken thereon.

This is the oversight plan of the Committee on International Relations for the 109th Congress. It includes the areas in which the Committee hopes to conduct oversight during this Congress. As the Committee's priorities change, the oversight work of the Committee may change. The fact that an issue is listed here does not mean that the Committee will necessarily hold a formal meeting devoted solely to that issue. The Committee, in the course of its oversight work, may also rely on briefings by business and non-governmental organizations and by U.S. government officials, officials of foreign governments, as well as on member and staff travel, and investigations. It is the intention of the Committee that, wherever practicable, oversight activities will be planned on a bipartisan basis. The Committee will consult with other Committees having jurisdiction over the same or related laws, programs, or agencies as are within its jurisdiction, including its special oversight jurisdiction; and it will use such mechanisms as joint briefings and coordination of staff work and travel to meet the requirements of Rule X(2)(d)(1)(A). As required by Rule X(2)(d)(1), in the course of its oversight work, it will remain continually alert for the existence of Federal rules, regulations, statutes, and court decisions that are ambiguous, arbitrary, or nonsensical, or that impose severe financial burdens on individuals, and it will review Federal programs with a view to insuring against duplication of such programs.

1) General

  1. Meetings with foreign political leaders: The Committee's ongoing program of informal and formal meetings with foreign political leaders gives it the opportunity to explore the effectiveness of United States foreign policy with those who are keenly interested

  2. Meetings with Administration officials: The Committee's formal and informal meetings with Administration officials allow Members and staff to explore the effectiveness of the Administration's implementation of foreign policy

  3. Meetings with key stakeholders and constituencies: The Committee’s formal and informal meetings with key stakeholders on foreign policy allow for an opportunity to explore the effectiveness of foreign policy with those who are keenly interested

2) International Security/UN/Peacekeeping/General

  1. Oversight of arms transfer procedures and legislation, including implementation of previous laws and modifications made to the Arms Export Control Act regarding arms transfers, review policy regarding unmanned aerial vehicles, review the Taiwan Relations Act to ensure effective implementation, review efforts to negotiate multilateral "Code of Conduct" regarding conventional arms transfers, and review newly-enacted law establishing a government-to-government arms sales end-use monitoring program

  2. Export Controls—Review National Security Policy Directive 19 regarding defense trade reform, oversight of related to a reauthorization of the Export Administration Act, review of the Administration's efforts to promote the Defense Trade and Security Initiative (DTSI) and other efforts to promote defense cooperation and integration among friendly countries, review of policies regarding exports of supercomputers, and review of munitions control list including exports of commercial communication satellites

  3. Peacekeeping oversight, including Administration policy implementing existing Presidential Decision Directives on peacekeeping; supporting new peacekeeping operations and terminating existing missions; UN peacekeeping reform; Global Peace Operations Initiative; command and control issues; and special attention to the status of the international peacekeeping effort in Kosovo, Bosnia, Africa (particularly Sudan, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Burundi, Darfur, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea-Ethiopia), Afghanistan, East Timor, and the Middle East

  4. "Rogue Regimes"—Review of the problems of security threats from so-called "rogue regimes" that have or could gain the power to create or use weapons of mass destruction

  5. Review of National/International Missile Defense and its relationship to U.S. relations with allies, Russia, China and others; its impact on long-term U.S. security and nonproliferation goals; and other related issues

  6. National Missile Defense—Review of foreign policy aspects including implications of modifying radars in the United Kingdom and Denmark

  7. Nonproliferation and disarmament topics:

    1. Nunn-Lugar program—Review implementation of program aimed at dismantlement and destruction of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in the former Soviet Union, including waiver issues and expanding geographic scope of the program

    2. Compliance with existing arms control agreements including the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty and START treaties and review of agreements to which the U.S. is not party, including the Comprehensive Test Ban (CTBT) Treaty and the Land Mine Ban Treaty

    3. Review of nonproliferation sanctions and technology control regimes including feasibility of establishing new international missile control and other regimes and investigating the scope of global black market activities and networks in the sale of nuclear, chemical, biological and missile materials and equipment, as well as reviewing U.S. efforts to combat and terminate these activities and networks

    4. Review of Iran's nuclear/proliferation issue; balancing efforts to change the behavior of the regime; slowing down/disabling the Iranian nuclear program; keep/gain Europe's assistance, including its cooperation in any future sanctions regime

    5. North Korea’s development of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery; review the situation between the Pyongyang Regime and the Bush Administration in reaching a resolution of the nuclear issue via the Six Party Talks

    6. Re-evaluate the Non-Proliferation Treaty’s "Atoms for Peace" bargain

    7. Status of Fissile Material Production Ban

    8. Pakistan—Review of nonproliferation cooperation

    9. Assess U.S. policy in reducing the role of China in the proliferation of WMDs and missiles

    10. Review implications of the A.Q. Khan Nuclear Network—Require CIA/DIA briefings and reports on the matter

    11. Evaluate the merits and requirements of US support for IAEA Director General ElBaradei’s January 7, 2005 proposed 5-year moratorium on the construction of any additional enrichment or reprocessing capacity

    12. Review of programs regarding the disposition and elimination of excess weapons-grade plutonium stores worldwide

    13. The status of the land mine treaty ban and U.S. efforts to develop alternative land mine technologies

  8. Security Assistance—Review overall effectiveness and implementation of security assistance programs including Foreign Military Financing (FMF), Economic Support Fund (ESF), International Military Education and Training (IMET), International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), draw-downs, Excess Defense Article transfers, antiterrorism, and nonproliferation and export control assistance (specific programs requiring additional oversight include security assistance for new NATO member states and Middle East states)

  9. Realignment of U.S. military forces—Review foreign policy implications of the Defense Department’s proposed troop realignment plan

  10. Olympics security issues—Review the United States’ Government’s plans to offer security assistance through equipment, training and intelligence-sharing to Italy and China for upcoming Olympic Games

  11. Implementation of UN reform/arrearages legislation and progress of additional international organization reform efforts:

    1. Continue Oil-for-Food review and determine implications.

    2. Assess issues to including; reform of fiscal management, procurement, ethics, accountability and transparency issue, hiring of Americans to work in the UN system, budgeting issues, institutionalization of work on the reform agenda within the United States Mission to the United Nations, etc.

    3. Review the work of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations

    4. Review Law of the Sea Convention

    5. Review status of developments relating to UN Security Council Resolution 1540 and the U.S. Proliferation Security Initiative, including a discussion of related legal issues

    6. Oversight of implementation of the Intelligence Reform Act provisions regarding efforts to support the Democracy Caucus at the United Nations

    7. Review of U.S. strategy to combat United Nations’ practice of continuous actions against Israel

  12. International crime:

    1. Growing links between organized crime, illicit drugs, and global terrorism

    2. Impact of U.S. foreign assistance on advancing the rule of law and anticorruption activities on U.S. ability to combat international crime

    3. International criminal organizations in Africa, oversight of existing International Law Enforcement Academies (ILA) for Africa and the creation of ILEA for Latin America

    4. Impact of international trafficking of humans, arms, and narcotics; document fraud; and money laundering

    5. International trafficking of children: sexual exploitation, labor, camel jockeying, and child soldiers

    6. International intellectual property piracy issues—How piracy is being used to support international crime and terrorism, and its impact on the American economy

    7. International economic espionage and how it hurts American business and interests

    8. Extraterritorial prosecutions of U.S. law violations

  13. Oversight of agency implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act

  14. Narcotics

    1. The continuing heroin crisis in the United States and the Administration's plans for dealing with it

    2. Source nation strategies, with special attention to Afghanistan, Colombia, Bolivia and Peru

    3. Eradication efforts and their effectiveness; alternative development

    4. The "certification process" and the annual drug certification determinations for the major drug producing and transit nations around the globe

    5. Aggressive oversight of the war on drugs in the Western Hemisphere and of the Administration's implementation of Plan Colombia; Plan Colombia II—Assess the progress of the five-year plan and provide oversight; prepare and mark-up an authorization bill for Plan Colombia II assistance

    6. Efforts to avoid disruption of U.S. counternarcotics aerial interdiction operations

  15. International terrorism/espionage

    1. Review the evolution and current organization of al-Qaeda, examining the current status of al-Qaeda, its efforts to obtain WMDs, 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

    2. Review U.S. Government and allied efforts to capture or kill al-Qaeda's leaders

    3. Explore the 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.

    4. Oversight of the State Department's Anti-terrorism Assistance program, terrorism financing efforts, coordination of diplomatic initiatives with foreign governments in the global war on terrorism; oversight of Office of Foreign Assets Control, FBI, etc., as they continue to work the international aspects of terrorism

    5. The emerging threat of fundamentalist terrorism in Latin America and Africa

    6. Explore the activities of the Southeast Asian terrorist group, Jemah Islamiyah

    7. Review Libya’s place on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism

    8. Assess reports that the government of President Hugo Chavez is aiding international terrorist organizations based in Colombia

    9. The AMIA (Buenos Aires Jewish Community Building) bombing

    10. Effectiveness of the U.S. technological response to terrorism

    11. Border security programs, to include overseas visa lookout system in light of the new provisions of law relative to the exclusion of aliens who are members of foreign terrorist organizations

    12. Security of U.S. Government facilities abroad

    13. Expenditure of post-security funds, to include a review of personnel increases and asset management to minimize cost of property acquisition

    14. Review of the Federal Government’s efforts at coordinating international counterterrorism programs through the State Department

  16. Effectiveness and expansion of multilateral technology transfer/export controls, including international code of conduct for arms sales

  17. Review International Criminal Court and ongoing prosecutions; review of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, justice efforts for Darfur genocide

  18. Cooperation with INTERPOL

3) State Department and related agencies operations

  1. Hearing with the Secretary of State on the FY2006 budget and authorization issues, including GPRA issues, supplemental spending plans, public diplomacy and reorganization plans, etc.

  2. Review trust fund organizations; East/West Center, Asia Foundation, Eisenhower Foundation, and others

  3. Overseas property management: management of the foreign buildings; expenditures of supplemental funds; progress on asset management (property disposal and acquisitions)

  4. Management of the foreign affairs agencies' workforce—Implementation and development of staffing models, including review of the future of the Foreign Service; personnel practices, and management of overseas presence; assignment process; utilization of the Civil Service; size of the Senior Foreign Service and Senior Executive Service

  5. American Institute in Taiwan (general oversight)

  6. International Border Commissions

  7. State Authorization 06–07 Initiatives—Further review of public diplomacy to include consideration of a central news/information function to provide posts with current web-based information on breaking issues; consular staffing; diplomatic security reforms

  8. Review of the separation of the international broadcasting function and the organizational structure of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, language service modernization plans, quality control issues of VOA and RFE/RL and the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ responsibility to assure broadcasts are of the highest quality

  9. Review of practices and procedures for receiving exchange and other visitors, especially foreign parliamentarians and other prominent officials

  10. Review of public diplomacy programs and issues arising from the consolidation of programs formerly conducted by the United States Information Agency; ability of the Department to measure the results of its efforts in this area and to plan and sequence its activities so as to most strongly support United States foreign policy

  11. Review of the implementation of the Intercountry Adoption Act

  12. Review of the Office of Children's Services with emphasis on services related to abducted and adopted children

  13. Review of implementation of "rightsizing" of U.S. overseas posts

  14. Review of the U.S. use of private military contractors for security and related functions

  15. Review of the operations of the Office of Foreign Missions

  16. Review Diplomatic Security Bureau (DS)—Overall activities, but focus on visa and passport fraud investigations; effectiveness of substantial staffing increases for DS during the past 3 years

  17. Consular processes—Including concerns of the academic, student, and business communities as well as national security concerns
    Monitor Case-Zablocki Act modifications and compliance
    Reform of the Executive Branch reporting requirements
    Enemy detainees
    Oversight and review of the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction &  Stabilization

4) Foreign Assistance

  1. U.S. public diplomacy efforts, branding and labeling U.S. assistance—Are we getting credit for our good works

  2. Victims of terrorism compensation—Review current practices and suggestions to address perceived inequities

  3. Oversight of U.S. global efforts against HIV/AIDS, including U.S. support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria

  4. Review status of the Millennium Challenge Account

  5. Impact of corruption on development; anti-corruption in the developing world

  6. Review cost, management, donor coordination and impact of U.S. foreign assistance programs—Special emphasis will be given to major aid programs in:

    1. Iraq

    2. Afghanistan

    3. Bosnia refugee return

    4. Eastern Europe

    5. New Independent States of the former Soviet Union

    6. Other drug-producing countries, with emphasis on Plan Colombia and the Andean region

    7. Haiti

    8. Africa

    9. Activities that are research and promotional in character relating to international cooperation on environmental and other scientific issues

    10. Review of implementation of the Northern European Initiative and the Northern Europe Cross-Border Cooperation Act, especially environmental issues related to decommissioned Russian nuclear submarines

    11. Egypt (continue review of cash transfer and commodity import program)

    12. North Korea

    13. Oversight and review of the implementation of foreign assistance to countries affected by Indian Ocean tsunamis

  7. Review size, purpose and effectiveness of FY2006 and FY2007 International Affairs Function 150 budgets—Special emphasis will be given to expected Administration initiatives, such as:

    1. Budget oversight/review of FY06 request/FY05 Supplemental (expected to include $600 million for Embassy Baghdad)

    2. Increases for HIV/AIDS and the Millennium Challenge Account initiative

    3. Increases in the Economic Support Fund program

  8. Conduct special review of programs with noted problems focusing on activities highlighted in USAID Inspector General and GAO reports—Special emphasis will be given to USAID:

    1. Missions and Operations

    2. Microenterprise Programs

    3. New Management System

    4. Strategic Objectives

    5. Enterprise Fund Management

    6. The "R4" ("Review of Resources, Requirements, and Results") process

    7. Oversight of "monetization" programs

    8. Review of program evaluation policies

  9. Special attention will be given to the effectiveness of programs that have consumed large amounts of Congressional attention in recent years, including:

    1. U.S. participation in and contributions to international population planning activities and related programs and policies

    2. U.S. participation in and contributions to international child survival activities and related programs and policies

    3. Review of refugee and migration assistance programs and administrative expenses of the bureau charged with carrying out the purposes of the Migration and Refugee

    Assistance Act of 1962 and emergency response capability
  10. Tour of worldwide progress of democracy; review efficiency and effectiveness of U.S. Government-funded democracy programs

  11. Review of anticorruption foreign assistance programs and other programs designed to reduce corruption in foreign countries

  12. Peace Corps—Mark up Peace Corps Reauthorization Act and conduct oversight of plans for expansion, security and safety concerns, and the better utilization of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers

  13. Oversight and review of the implementation of USAID’s Fragile States Strategy

5) Europe

  1. Periodic reviews of the region with the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs

  2. Review U.S.–EU relations (political, security, trade and financial issues; European integration; cooperation in the campaign against global terrorism; cooperation and viewpoints regarding Iran’s nuclear program and other nonproliferation matters; transparency in European rulemaking and legislating) on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the signing of the "New Transatlantic Agenda"; EU enlargement; European Security and Defense Policy and its implications for the United States; economic relations; and counterterrorism cooperation; EU Arms Embargo on China

  3. Review of NATO including transformation, potential enlargement process, intelligence/threat assessment, NATO–EU relations; oversight of new NATO headquarters building in Brussels and headquarters operations.

  4. Review of U.S. policy toward Russia and monitoring implementation of the Russian Democracy Act:

    1. Political and economic reforms

    2. Progress in the rule-of-law

    3. Status of Russian military and reform progress

    4. Russian foreign policy objectives

  5. Developments in, and U.S. policy toward, Serbia and Montenegro

  6. Review of Kosovo’s developments in advance of UN Mission review to be held in mid-2005 and developments and assessment after the UN Mission review

  7. Black Sea Strategy—An overview of the political and economic situation among nations encircling the Black Sea, including the conflicts in Georgia and Moldova

  8. Developments in the Northern European Region including U.S. interests, policy and events in the Baltic states and the surrounding region

  9. Overview of U.S. relations with specific regions or countries in Europe including: Eastern Europe, France, Germany and Turkey

  10. Review of peace processes in Northern Ireland; Cyprus

  11. Challenges in the South Caucasus

  12. Oversight of the declining SEED Act assistance and Freedom Support Act funding for nations in Central and Eastern Europe who have not yet reach a level of democratic maturity

  13. Review of U.S. policy toward Ukraine

  14. Review of U.S. policy toward Belarus and monitoring implementation of the Belarus Democracy Act

6) Middle East and Central Asia

  1. Periodic reviews of the region with the Assistant Secretaries of State for Near Eastern Affairs, European and Eurasian Affairs, and South Asian Affairs

  2. Oversight of 9/11 bill implementation and legislation

    1. Engaging the struggle of ideas and promoting reform to prevent terrorism (including oversight of the Middle East Partnership Initiative and the Broader Middle East and North Africa initiative)

    2. Terrorist sanctuaries (including Central Asia and (jointly) Middle East-based influence in the Western Hemisphere)

    3. Broadcasting

  3. Iraq elections and aftermath—Assess reconstruction and the U.S. policies toward and role in Iraq; construction of new Embassy in Iraq

  4. Review the U.S. policies toward and role in Afghanistan with reference to its upcoming parliamentary elections.

  5. Palestinian elections and aftermath—Review implications for peace negotiations; assess U.S. policy and reform efforts in the region and progress on the "Roadmap"

  6. Review of the Middle East peace process and related assistance, including the need for a program authorizing enterprise funds, regional people-to-people programs, and a possible "Marshall Plan for the Middle East"; review of assistance to the Palestinians, including assistance to and operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency

  7. Paul Simon Water Act—Review options to authorize multi-year funding for cooperative water projects in the Jordan River Basin.

  8. Review progress on Israel-Vatican negotiations

  9. Syria—Comprehensive review of status of Syrian Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act implementation

  10. Differences between the U.S. and Europe in the Middle East

  11. Review of the UBS Case (Iran and Cuba)—Assessing the lessons learned

  12. The Future of Gaza after Israel’s disengagement

  13. Egypt—Review of GAO reports on cash transfer and the arms program

  14. Status of Economic Reform in the Middle East—Review of implications for U.S. trade benefits and a future MEFTA

  15. Monitor implementation of the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act Amendments of 2004

  16. Rise of Islamist extremism in Central Asia

  17. U.S. counterterrorism and counterproliferation policy in Central Asia

  18. Extending reform mandate to Central Asia

  19. Review and monitor of delivery and implementation of democracy promotion and assistance to the countries of Central Asia

7) Asia and the Pacific

  1. Periodic reviews of the region with the Assistant Secretaries of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and for South Asian Affairs

  2. Overview of U.S. interests and foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region: bilateral alliances; ASEAN and other regional organizations; USAID programs; public diplomacy; international terrorism and counterterrorism cooperation; democracy promotion and human rights; military-to-military relations; U.S. trade policy, including proposed free trade agreements; "great power" relations in the region; health (HIV/AIDS) and environmental concerns; and efforts to better coordinate antitrafficking in human persons policies

  3. U.S. Policy in East Asia and the Pacific—Oversight hearing with the new Assistant Secretary for EAP

  4. U.S. Policy in South Asia—Oversight hearing with the new Assistant Secretary for South Asia

  5. Tsunami relief and reconstruction—In coordination with Full Committee, review Tsunami relief/reconstruction efforts in Southeast and South Asia

  6. North Korean strategic challenge—Oversight focused on diplomatic and alternative policy options for eliminating North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs and capabilities, as well as efforts to curb proliferation and other illicit activities by the North Korean government

  7. Managing Sino-American relations in the 21st Century—Oversight hearing examining broad trends in economic, political, and security relations between the U.S. and PRC

  8. China and the EU Arms Embargo—Oversight focused on the prospective ending of the current EU arms "embargo" toward China and its likely impact on U.S. national security interests in the Asia-Pacific

  9. U.S. Security Policy in Asia and the Pacific—Oversight (possibly joint) hearing on counterterrorism, strategic trends in Asia, and U.S. security policy with new PACOM Commander

  10. Maintaining Stability in the Taiwan Strait—Review of cross-Strait relations, strategic posture, and relevant U.S. policy, including sales of defensive weapons under the Taiwan Relations Act

  11. Implementation of the North Korean Human Rights Act—Oversight hearing on implementation of the U.S. Public Law 108–333 and the continued plight of North Korean refugees and migrants

  12. U.S. interests in Indonesia—Oversight hearing on issues including tsunami recovery, military-to-military relations, human rights, democratization, economic reform, decentralization, and U.S. public diplomacy

  13. U.S.–ROK Alliance Management—Oversight hearing focused on the future of the U.S.–ROK alliance, the implication of U.S. force relocation for bilateral relations, and U.S. public diplomacy efforts, particularly toward the younger generation in Korea

  14. The situation in Burma—Oversight hearing (possibly joint) relating to prospective annual legislative renewal of U.S. sanctions against Burma under the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003

  15. Marshall Islands Changed Circumstances Petition—Oversight hearing reviewing results of the U.S. Government review of "changed circumstances" petition by the Republic of the Marshall Islands for additional compensation for U.S. nuclear testing in the atolls during the 1950s

  16. Unrest in Vietnam’s Central Highlands—Oversight hearing focusing on what is arguably the most sensitive issue in U.S.-Vietnamese relations

  17. U.S. Policy toward Pakistan—Oversight focusing on U.S. interests in and policy toward this front-line state in the global war on terrorism. As appropriate, also review progress in the Indo-Pakistani composite dialogue

  18. Energy Security in Asia and the Pacific—Oversight hearing focusing on Asia’s growing energy requirements and the implications of such on geopolitics and grand strategy in the region and beyond

  19. U.S. Economic and Trade Policy toward the PRC—Oversight hearing focusing on commercial relations with China and prospects for better balance in bilateral trade relations

  20. Insurgencies and sectarian violence in South Asia—Oversight focusing on the Maoist insurgency in Nepal and prospects for peace in Sri Lanka. As appropriate, also review political and societal violence elsewhere in the region

  21. Cultural and public diplomacy toward Asia and the Pacific—Oversight hearing focusing on the adequacy of U.S. cultural and public diplomacy in Asia

  22. Visa policy and U.S. interests in Asia and the Pacific—Oversight hearing examining whether the U.S. has adequately balanced U.S. security interests post 9/11 with foregone academic, commercial and tourist opportunities as a result of current restrictions

  23. Economic and Social Trends in the PRC—Oversight hearing examining internal stability and reform, and the implications for regional stability and U.S. investment in China

  24. India as a rising power—Oversight focusing on India's deepening economic, political and strategic engagement in the Asia-Pacific and beyond

  25. Review implementation of the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 (Public Law 107–228, Sections 611–621)

8) Western Hemisphere

  1. Periodic reviews of the region with the Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs

  2. In General—U.S. efforts in support of democratic institutions, political stability and economic growth in the region

  3. U.S. counternarcotics and counterterrorism support in Colombia and other Western Hemisphere countries

  4. Growing influence of China in the Western Hemisphere—Overview of China's investing heavily in Latin America, including port facilities adjacent to the Panama Canal

  5. Latin America & Caribbean AID authorization bill and general oversight of U.S. foreign assistance to the region

  6. U.S.-Canada Border Security—Assess U.S. Canada border security cooperation

  7. Continued engagement with Venezuela/Boston Group—Review U.S. Policy toward Venezuela

  8. U.S. support for victims of Communist Government repression in Cuba and overall U.S.-Cuba policy

  9. Nicaragua—Review of the state of judicial reform in Nicaragua

  10. Brazil—Assess U.S. relations with Brazil as an emerging regional power

  11. U.S. policy regarding the expropriation of property from U.S. citizens by governments in the Western Hemisphere

  12. Review progress toward completing Free Trade Agreement for the Americas (FTAA), Dominican Republic/Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR/CAFTA), and Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Panama and their impact on business and labor in signatory countries

  13. Investigate methods to support institutional strengthening of the Organization of American States (OAS) and its Inter-America Democratic Charter

  14. Evaluate feasibility and implications of facilitating targeting remittances from persons in the U.S. to their home countries for development purposes

  15. Public health issues in the Western Hemisphere

  16. Assessment of Western Hemisphere's cooperation on the war on terrorism

  17. Status of potential migration accord with the government of the United Mexican States

  18. GAO assessment of progress to achieve strengthened democratic institutions and judicial reform in Western Hemisphere countries

  19. Review of diplomatic strategy toward the nations of the Caribbean and oversight of Third Border Initiative

  20. Review status of indigenous populations and Afro-descended communities, in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean

  21. Elections—Oversight of policy in the run-up to the many presidential and legislative elections in 2006, particularly in Peru and Haiti

  22. GAO assessment of reconstruction in the Caribbean after the hurricanes of 2004 and proposals for disaster mitigation

  23. Guatemala—Oversight of Guatemala's efforts to address outstanding provisions of Peace Accords and create a Commission of Inquiry into Illegal Groups and Clandestine Security Apparatus (CICACS), or similar commission

  24. GAO assessment of public diplomacy efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean

  25. Evaluate impact of escalating crime rates, particularly as driven by gang violence, on countries in the region

9) Africa

  1. Periodic review of sub-Saharan Africa with the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and of North Africa with the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs

  2. Libya—Review of U.S. policy toward Libya including the path toward cautious re-engagement, Libya’s status on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list, progress in addressing and compensating victims of previous terrorist aggression, and ongoing governance and human rights concerns

  3. Sudan—Continued investigation into the situation in Darfur following declarations of genocide by the Congress and the Administration and oversight of U.S. relief efforts in the region; assessment of the implementation of the final peace agreement between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM); and oversight of U.S. assistance to support peace in Southern Sudan and implementation of the Comprehensive Peace in Sudan Act of 2004 (P.L. 108497)

  4. Zimbabwe—Review of U.S. policy toward Zimbabwe, including oversight of U.S. efforts to support civil society and promote political and economic reform and implementation of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (P.L. 10799)

  5. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)—Oversight of U.S. support for democratic transition in the DRC and UN peacekeeping operations in the region

  6. Liberia—Oversight of U.S. support for democratic transition in Liberia and UN peacekeeping operations in the region

  7. Nigeria—Review of U.S. policy toward Nigeria, including efforts to promote economic and democratic reform, combat corruption, support civil society, address human rights concerns and foster regional security

  8. Somalia—Review of U.S. policy toward Somalia, including efforts to foster peace and promote regional stability in a collapsed state

  9. Northern Uganda—Oversight of U.S. efforts to promote a just and sustainable peace in Northern Uganda

  10. Periodic review of developments in African hotspots, including but not limited to Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, the Great Lakes (Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi), Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Zimbabwe

  11. Assessment of Africa’s cooperation in the war on terrorism, with particular focus on U.S. efforts to provide counterterrorism training, equipment, and support for "front-line states," including the East Africa Counter-Terrorism Initiative (EACTI) and the Trans-Sahel Counter Terrorism Initiative (TACTI)

  12. Oversight of the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA), Operation Focus Relief (OFR), the Global Peace Operations Initiative, and other U.S. efforts to provide training, equipment, and support for regional peacekeeping efforts in Africa

  13. Evaluation of U.S. relations with African regional and sub-regional organizations, including but not limited to the African Union (AU), NEPAD, ECOWAS, COMESA, and SADC

  14. Assessment of U.S. trade and investment in Africa, including oversight of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and review of non-tariff trade barriers and their connection to trade, corruption, and development, and evaluation of the success of USAID efforts in these areas

  15. Assessment of the impact of multilateral and bilateral debt on African economies, and the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), and other International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in Africa

  16. Review of China’s growing engagement in Africa

  17. Oversight of United States efforts to promote transparency and accountability in Africa, including the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Project and/or the Clean Diamond Act (P.L. 108–19)

  18. Review of ongoing democratization efforts in Africa, including the growth of institutions promoting freedom of the press, pluralism, and the participation of civil society

  19. Oversight of Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) programs in North Africa

  20. Oversight of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership Act of 2003 and other USAID-backed conservation programs in Africa

  21. Oversight of the Administration's efforts to combat infectious diseases in Africa, particularly HIV/AIDS, including U.S. support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria and PEPFAR

  22. Oversight of the U.S.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, including efforts to extradite former Liberia President Charles Taylor from Nigeria and implementation of Section of 589 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004 (P.L. 108–199), regarding War Crimes in Africa

  23. Oversight of U.S. efforts to address corruption and organized crime in Africa, including the International Law Enforcement Academy in Botswana

  24. Assessment of slavery in Africa

  25. Review of growing religious tensions on the Continent

  26. Assessment of gaps in official presence in Africa

10) Human Rights

  1. Review of the State Department’s annual "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices"

  2. Assessing trafficking in persons threat to tsunami victims—Exploring the trafficking in persons situation in tsunami-devastated areas, including prevention and protection efforts by local governments and USG involvement and support

  3. Review of U.S. policy to promote democracy and create country strategies to promote democracy and human rights, including review of the State Department’s annual "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy" Report

  4. Status of Cuba after the crackdown 2 years ago; democracy movement, jailed dissidents, and the impact of the resumption of official contact with the European Union and European countries

  5. International trafficking in persons—Review of the implementation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003

  6. Review of State Department’s annual "Trafficking in Persons" Report

  7. International refugee protection and resettlement—Assess U.S. Refugee policy

  8. Religious persecution—Oversight of implementation of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998

  9. Combating the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe (possible joint hearing)

  10. Torture Victims Relief Act of 1998—Oversight of implementation

  11. PRM Worldwide Refugee Status 2005—Oversight on USG refugee initiatives, status and goals, and humanitarian assistance efforts and challenges

  12. Review U.S. efforts to assist in meeting the psycho-social needs of post-terrorist attack victims on School No. 1 in Beslan, North Ossetia

  13. Review and assess U.S. strategy regarding Burma’s continuing human rights violations

  14. Humanitarian crisis plaguing Uganda’s children

  15. Oversight of the newly-authorized Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center

  16. Implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other internationally recognized human rights

  17. Review of People's Republic of China (political and religious repression, forced abortion and sterilization, forced labor, situation of Tibetan and Uighur minorities, North Korean refugees)

  18. Central Africa (human rights and refugee issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Congo, and surrounding countries)

  19. Vietnam (religious and political persecution, access to U.S. resettlement programs, and related issues)

11) Economic Policy, Trade, and the Environment

  1. Assess loss of American jobs to the growing capabilities and exports from China

  2. Assess loss of American jobs due to outsourcing, non-immigrant visa policies and implementation of Free Trade Agreements

  3. International intellectual property issues

  4. International energy policy issues

  5. Enterprise Funds

  6. Overview of global trade situation and implementation of International Monetary Fund terms and conditions

  7. Trade distorting actions by foreign governments (bribery, economic espionage, manipulation of 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

  8. OPIC/TDA/EXIM Oversight; Commerce Department trade promotion and enforcement activities

  9. Overview of the Export Administration Act (EAA) and the views of the Administration on legislation reauthorizing and modernizing its provisions

  10. Implementation of sanctions against Iran and other regimes by State and Treasury

  11. Global environmental trends: International instability and national security

  12. The U.S. Government position on global warming/Kyoto Protocol

  13. How environmental cooperation can enhance bilateral relations and U.S. interests abroad

  14. Impact on U.S. business due to the lack of foreign export credit agency environmental standards

  15. Role of regional trade agreements in promoting a new global trade round and global economic growth; and progress toward a new global trade round foreign government adoption of standards adverse to U.S. interests

  16. International cooperation for access to the international space station

12) Miscellaneous

  1. Presidential War Powers Act and the Bush doctrine of preemption

  2. Codify U.S. foreign policy law


Committee on International Relations

Oversight Plan for the 108th Congress
Adopted February 14, 2003

Oversight Plan for the 107th Congress
Adopted February 14, 2001