2020 Model Senate
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Resources
The 2020 Model Senate Committee on Foreign Relations topic briefing paper is an introductory overview on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The paper includes a brief overview of the Roles and Responsibilities of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, including a current list of members. The paper includes a set of questions to consider and a helpful glossary of terms. All students should read through the background briefing paper and use the included questions and resources on this page to help guide their research. Click here to download.
- U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations - The main website for the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Access information about past and upcoming hearings, in addition to press releases.
- Research a Senator - Use this link for current Senators' contact information as well as links to related information such as biographical profiles and statistics.
- U.S. Senate: Types of Legislation - Webpage that lists the four types of legislation that the Senate can pass.
- Gov-Track - A non-partisan website with full access to all proposed bills, laws and resolutions.
- Council on Foreign Relations - A bi-partisan think-tank specializing in foreign policy issues.
- Foreign Policy - A global magazine specializing in foreign policy issues.
- Glossary of Terms - A link to a helpful glossary of Senate-related terms.
Program Worksheets and Materials
Investigating the Topic Worksheet (WORD doc)
Recording Witness Testimonies Worksheet (WORD doc)
The Ongoing Political Crisis with Iran (Subcommittee On Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism)
A History of U.S.-Iran Relations – Penn Today (2020)
A brief historical analysis of U.S. and Iranian economic and political relations and how this drastically changed after the 1979 revolution in Iran and what that ultimately means for modern diplomacy for the two countries.
US-Iran tensions: Timeline of events leading to Soleimani killing – Aljazeera (2020)
Gives detailed information on U.S.-Iran key events since 2018, such as the withdrawal of the Nuclear Deal with Iran and its repercussions, that lead to the hostility and murderer of Soleimani in the beginning of 2020.
U.S.-Iran Relations – CQ Researcher (2019)
Comprehensive guide to Trump’s policy decisions and sanctions against Iran and their results on the Iranian government and citizens.
Frenemies: a story of Iran, Israel and the United States (2:32) – YouTube (2015)
Gives Insight to intergovernmental relations between the three countries.
U.S. and Iran’s rocky history explained in five minutes - YouTube (2019)
Historical timeline of U.S.-Iran relations since 1953.
Are the U.S. and Iran Really on the Brink of War – The United States Institute of Peace (2020)
Outlines differences/strengths between the two countries and the potential outcome of full-on war.
The heavy costs and consequences of the tension between the U.S. and Iran as well as how much Iraq will be affected by the fight.
Offers alternative account of the general opinions of Iranian citizens of the U.S. and their own government.
Understanding Iranian Foreign Policy – The Middle East Institute (2012)
Analyzes Iranian foreign policy in terms of the values they hold for themselves and the surrounding countries.
US-Iran relations: A cloudy 2020 forecast – Atlantic Council (2020)
Underlines pretenses in both the US and Iran’s negotiations going further.
Before Soleimani’s death, concerns about Iran had fallen in many countries – including the U.S. – Pew Research Center, FactTank (2020)
Statistical evidence that Iranian-US tensions were not as high before the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, includes international disapproval of US’s withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Migration in the Western Hemisphere (Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues)
- The U.S. Immigration Debate - Council on Foreign Relations, 2019
- Key Findings about U.S. Immigrants - Pew Research Center, FactTank, 2019
- "We Can't Help You Here" U.S. Returns of Asylum Seekers to Mexico - Human Rights Watch, 2019
- Getting Migration in the Americas Right – Center for American Progress (2019) Offers a humanitarian approach to migration in the Western Hemisphere; understanding of the statistics and causes of migration as well as reshaping policies border management to best fit the needs of migrants.
- Central and North America and the Caribbean – International Organization for Migration (2016) Traces patterns of migration in the Western Hemisphere
- Delivering Life-saving Humanitarian Relief to Venezuelans in Need - U.S. Department of State (2020) Outlines U.S. humanitarian efforts in Venezuela.
- The Hidden Refugee Crisis in the Western Hemisphere – Council on Foreign Relations (2016) Patterns of migration from Central American countries.
- How the Immigration Act of 1965 Changed the Face of America – History (2019) Traces the trajectory of the United States impressions and approaches to Immigration policies and how it has changed today.
- The Venezuela Regional Migration Crisis - Congressional Research Service (2019) Summary of the Venezuelan migrant crisis, including international and U.S. humanitarian responses and next steps for Congress.
- Who is Venezuela's Legitimate President? A Messy Dispute Explained - New York Times, Interpreter (2019) Explains the Venezuela's and international community's dilema in determining who is the legitimate president of Venezuela after allegedly rigged elections.
- Despite Trump Invitation to Stop Taking Refugees, Red and Blue States Alike Endorse Resettlement – Migration Policy Institute (2020) Forty-two out of fifty states affirmed their consent to accept new refugees, traces the history and views that shape migration policies in America.
- Under U.S. Pressure, Mexico Attempts to Curb Migration Through Its Borders – NPR (2020) Mexico rejects migrants traveling up north is response to America’s hostile policies toward immigration.
- Crisis in the Court: Is the Backlogged U.S. Immigration Court System at Its Breaking Point? – Migration Policy Institute (2019) The Trump administration’s reformed immigration policies out a lot of pressure on the U.S. immigration courts and how they handle new immigration/asylum cases.
- One Deadly Week Reveals Where the Immigration Crisis Begins - And Where it Ends - USA Today (2019) Interactive article that highlights migrants' stories at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Cybersecurity and Election Interference (Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy)
- Experts Warn U.S. Should Prepare for Election Interference from China (3:00) - NPR, 2019
- Foreign Interference Has Bedeviled D.C. For Decades, With No Easy Reponse - NPR, 2017
- How to Hack an Election According to a Former NSA Staffer (3:00) - Tech Insider, 2020
- Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves Comprehensive Russian Sanctions Bill - Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 2020
- Russia's 2016 Cyber Tactics, Explained (3:37) - Washington Post, 2017
- Why Should Americans be Concerned About Foreign Interference? (4:55) - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez Questions Impeachment Managers and Receives a Response, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 2020
- Russian Active Measures Campaigns nad Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 1: Russian Efforts Against Election Infrastructure with Additional Views - Select Committee on Intellegence, U.S. Senate (Bipartisan Report)
- Russian Active Measures Campaigns nad Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 2: Russia's Use of Social Media with Additional Views - Select Committee on Intellegence, U.S. Senate (Bipartisan Report)
- Menendez Confronts Senior State Department Officials: Did Ukraine or Russia Intervene in the 2016 U.S. Elections (7:38) - Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 2019
- What You Need To Know About Foreign Interference And The 2020 Election NPR, 2019
- Increasing International Cooperation in Cybersecurity and Adapting Cyber Norms - Council on Foreign Relations, 2018
- Cyber Policy Portal (Interactive database tracking cybersecurity policies by country) - United Nations, 2020