Key Congressional Bodies

Each congressional committee is chaired by a member of the majority party and also has a ranking member from the minority party in that legislative body.

House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC): HFAC is a standing committee within the House of Representatives that creates and reviews legislation related to the conduct of the foreign affairs of the United States through diplomacy and international development. Subcommittees relevant to the development community include: Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations; Middle East and North Africa; Asia and the Pacific; Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats; and Western Hemisphere. Each of these subcommittees holds both regional and functional jurisdiction over their respective topics and areas of the world. The Committee as a whole has jurisdiction over the State Department, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Peace Corps, and all funds related to international development and assistance.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC): SFRC is a standing committee within the Senate that spearheads the creation and discussion of legislation on American foreign policy as well as debating treaties negotiated by the executive branch. Relevant subcommittees include: Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism; Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues; Africa and Global Health Policy; International Development, Multilateral Institutions and International Economic, Energy and Environmental Policy; and State Department and USAID Management, International Operations and Bilateral International Development. This last committee has jurisdiction over the State Department, USAID, Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Peace Corps budgets, and is responsible for reviewing the State Department and USAID budgets each year.  All other committees have regional and functional jurisdiction.

House Committee on Appropriations: The House Appropriations Committee, one of the most powerful in Congress, dictates specific expenditures through appropriation of U.S. government funds. It has jurisdiction over and passes all appropriations bills, in concert with the Senate Appropriations Committee.

House Committee on Appropriations – Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: This standing subcommittee is responsible for overseeing appropriations for the State Department, USAID, Peace Corps, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and Millennium Challenge Corporation, as well as all international programming within other agencies. It also appropriates funds for American contributions to international organizations and international financial institutions.    

Senate Appropriations Committee: The Senate Appropriations Committee, one of the most powerful in Congress, dictates specific expenditures through appropriation of U.S. government funds. It has jurisdiction over and passes all appropriations bills, in concert with the House Appropriations Committee.

Senate Appropriations Committee – Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: This subcommittee is responsible for overseeing appropriations for the State Department, USAID, Peace Corps, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, all international programming within other agencies, and American contributions to international organizations and international financial institutions.

House Committee on Agriculture: This standing committee discusses and creates agriculture, nutrition, and water conservation policy and legislation. This includes agricultural research, economics, and education. It may also recommend agricultural appropriations levels to the House Appropriations Committee. It has jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Subcommittees relevant to the development community include Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. Its work has important implications for international food security and nutrition development funding and priorities.  

Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry: This standing committee oversees legislation and recommends appropriations for agriculture, farming, nutrition, and forestry. The most relevant subcommittee for the development community is Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agricultural Research, which is the subcommittee primarily responsible for international agricultural and nutrition issues.

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