Foreign Affairs and National Security

Co-Chairs: Donald Payne, Bennie Thompson
Members: John Conyers, Bobby Rush, Gregory Meeks, Barbara Lee, Hank Johnson, Laura Richardson, Terri Sewell, Allen West, Frederica Wilson

The Foreign Affairs and National Security Taskforce is co-chaired by Donald Payne and Bennie Thompson. The House Committees of jurisdiction for the Taskforce are the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Permanent Intelligence, and Armed Services.

As issues from around the world have both direct and indirect effects on our communities, it is necessary to develop policies that are beneficial to our communities – helping them grow and keeping them safe. The CBC has helped with conflicts and disasters, at home or abroad when and wherever there is need, specifically in the Diaspora. The CBC’s efforts helped end apartheid through legislation that divested from South Africa’s corrupt and unjust regime of the past. More recently, we have worked to address the genocide in Darfur, extend temporary protective status for Liberians escaping civil war, and coordinating disaster response efforts with USAID and the American Red Cross in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake. We continue to support indigenous economic development in Africa through fair trade agreements, like the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Among the most basic and important roles of government is to provide for the security of the nation and its citizenry. The CBC remains committed to securing the homeland in ways that encompass disaster aid within our borders through the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), preventing terrorist attacks on our homeland, and combating xenophobia that is counterproductive to our national security. The Foreign Affairs and National Security Taskforce oversees strategic and critical materials necessary for the common defense, interventions abroad, protection of American citizens domestic and abroad, as well as trade and international economic policy. This taskforce closely monitors the work of the Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Homeland Security Committees. The applicable portions of the House of Representatives Rule X for this taskforce’s jurisdiction are as follows:

Committee on Armed Services.

(1) Ammunition depots; forts; arsenals; and Army, Navy, and Air Force reservations and establishments.

(2) Common defense generally.

(4) The Department of Defense generally, including the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, generally.

(8) Tactical intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the Department of Defense.

(15) Strategic and critical materials necessary for the common defense.

Committee on Foreign Affairs.

(1) Relations of the United States with foreign nations generally.

(4) Export controls, including nonproliferation of nuclear technology and nuclear hardware.

(6) International commodity agreements (other than those involving sugar), including all agreements for cooperation in the export of nuclear technology and nuclear hardware.

(7) International conferences and congresses.

(8) International education.

(9) Intervention abroad and declarations of war.

(11) Measures to foster commercial intercourse with foreign nations and to safeguard American business interests abroad.

(12) International economic policy.

(14) Protection of American citizens abroad and expatriation.

(15) The American National Red Cross.

(16) Trading with the enemy.

(17) United Nations organizations.

Committee on Homeland Security.

(1) Overall homeland security policy.

(2) Organization and administration of the Department of Homeland Security.

Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (A) The Central Intelligence Agency, the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Intelligence

Program as defined in section 3(6) of the National Security Act of 1947. (B) Intelligence and intelligence-related activities of all other departments and agencies of the Government, including the tactical intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the Department of Defense.

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