The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was established in order to oversee legislation involving foreign policy and international relations. This Senate Committee was originally created in 1816, as one of the initial Senate Committees.
Since its creation, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has played a vital role in developing foreign policy. Today, this Committee continues to be extremely influential in regard to international affairs and foreign policy. The Foreign Relations Committee has been involved in many historic occurrences, including the purchase of the state of Alaska, which occurred in 1867. This Senate Committee was also very influential in the 1945 creation of the United Nations. This committee is not only essential during times of war, but remains very active in matters involving peace.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has jurisdiction over any legislation, matter, or concern that involves international relations or foreign policy. For example, they are concerned with legislation that surrounds funding arms sales, foreign aid programs, and the maintenance of international allies. This Senate committee initiates and leads Senate debates regarding foreign policy and associated concerns.
In order to ensure that all issues are adequately addressed, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has created a number of subcommittees, including the African Affairs, European Affairs, and Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Committees. This further delegation of pertinent matters helps to guarantee that all concerns are thoroughly considered.