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International Relations

The Senate plays a unique role in U.S. international relations. The Constitution authorizes the president to make treaties, but the president must then submit them to the Senate for its approval by a two-thirds vote. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is integral to this process. The committee also evaluates nominees to the State Department.


Under Article II, section 2 of the Constitution, the Senate must advise and consent to ratification of treaties that have been negotiated and agreed to by the president.

Treaties and Other International Agreements: The Role of the Senate (GPO-govInfo) (PDF)

Search for a Treaty Document (

Archive Treaty Actions , 2009-2017 (

Treaties in Force (

Diplomatic Relations

The president has the power to nominate ambassadors and appointments are made with the advice and consent of the Senate. The State Department formulates and implements the president's foreign policy. Learn more about ambassadors, diplomatic history, and American embassies.

Search for a Foreign Service Nomination (

Human Rights

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices are submitted each year to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

State Department on Human Rights (

Related Items

Interested in related materials? Take a look at this Virtual Reference Desk subject for more information.