The Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control was created to “monitor and encourage United States Government and private programs seeking to expand international cooperation against drug abuse and narcotics trafficking” and to “monitor and promote international compliance with narcotics control treaties.” As a formal organization of the U.S. Senate, the Caucus has the status of a standing committee . The Caucus exercises oversight on a wide range of issues, including international counternarcotics assistance and domestic drug prevention and treatment programs. The Caucus has held numerous hearings over the years and has issued a number of reports on U.S. narcotics control policy.
The United States Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control was established on August 16, 1985 by the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1986 and 1987 and was originally called the United States Commission on International Narcotics Control. Pursuant to the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of 1986, the name of the Commission was changed to the United States Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, effective November 13, 1985. (The House of Representatives had requested the name change because it would more accurately reflect the membership of the group, given that no House Members were to be appointed to it.)
The original U.S. Commission on International Narcotics Control’s authorizing legislation provided that it draw its membership from the Senate and from experts in the private sector. Specifically, the group was to be composed of 12 members: seven Members of the U.S. Senate appointed by the President of the Senate, and five members from the private sector appointed by the President of the United States. Four of the seven Senators, including one designated as Chairman, were to be selected from the majority party after approval by the Majority Leader, and three, including the Member designated as Co-Chairman, were to be selected from the minority party, after approval by the Minority Leader. The five Commission members selected from the private sector were to be appointed by the President after consultation with the Members of the appropriate congressional committees.
The appointment of private citizens was discontinued after 1987 in accordance with the group's redesignation as the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. The Caucus now consists of seven member of the U.S. Senate. Four of the members represent the Majority, and three members represent the Minority, with two designated as Chairman and Co-Chairman.