Since Representative Gregory Meeks took over as chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in January, he has been a busy man. The committee has taken on major global issues and gotten big things done in the first months since the New York Democrat assumed the leadership of the historically influential panel. In March, for instance, Meeks led the committee in approving California Democrat Barbara Lee’s resolution repealing the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).
“The repeal of the 2002 AUMF, which authorized use of force against a nation that we are no longer at war with, is long overdue,” says Meeks. “The 2002 AUMF is no longer needed for any current military operations. Leaving an unneeded AUMF on the books only leaves the door open for future administrations to take action without engaging Congress. Congress can no longer abdicate its constitutional responsibility to make decisions on matters of war and peace, and the repeal of the 2002 AUMF is only one in a series of steps that Congress must take to reclaim its Article 1 authority.”
Central to the work of reasserting the role of the Congress when it comes to foreign policy is an active agenda—on the part of the committee and its subcommittees—that keeps an eye on the whole world, and all the issues concerning it. The executive branch, through the Department of State and other cabinet agencies, as well as the White House, is always in a position to dominate discussions of world affairs. Congress, especially the House, needs to claim its place in all the debates that are taking place.
Meeks and his colleagues will be doing a lot of that in April. Here’s some of their agenda for the month:
- April 8 at 5 pm, ET: The Committee and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) will convene their members for a roundtable titled, “The Dissident: A Conversation on Human Rights and Accountability.’”
- April 14 at 10 am, ET: The Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration and International Economic Policy will convene for a hybrid hearing titled, “Renewing the United States’ Commitment to Addressing the Root Causes of Migration from Central America.”
- April 15 at 10 am, ET: The Subcommittee on Middle East, North Africa and Global Counterterrorism will convene for a virtual hearing titled, “10 Years of War: Examining the Ongoing Conflict in Syria.”
- April 16 at 10 am, ET: The Subcommittee on International Development, International Organizations, and Global Corporate Social Impact will convene for a hybrid hearing titled, “Innovation in Development Policy: Maximizing Impact and Results.”
- April 19 at 4 pm, ET: The Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber will convene its members for a briefing titled, “Cyber 101.”
- April 20 at 11:30 am, ET: The Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation will convene HFAC members for a briefing on China.
- April 20 at 1 pm, ET: The Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber will convene for a virtual hearing titled, “Restoration of the Transatlantic Dialogue: A Series on the Global Fight Against Climate Change.”
- April 21 at 10 am, ET: The Subcommittee on Middle East, North Africa and Global Counterterrorism will convene for a virtual hearing titled, “The Crisis in Yemen: Part 2.”
- April 22 at 10 am, ET: The Committee will convene HFAC members for a briefing on Afghanistan.
- April 27 at 2 pm, ET: The Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights will convene for a virtual hearing titled “The Effect of Climate Change in Africa.”
- April 28 at 11:30 pm, ET: The Committee will convene HFAC members for a briefing titled “Restoring U.S. Diplomacy and the Department of State: A Conversation with Former Secretaries.”
- April 28 at 2 pm, ET: The Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security, Migration and International Economic Policy will convene HFAC members for a briefing on Mexico.
Many of these events can be viewed on the committee’s website and YouTube page. Check it out here.