WASHINGTON (Aug. 12, 2020)—As the United States grapples with a global pandemic in the midst of the upcoming presidential election, Congress’s warning influence in foreign affairs becomes that much more stark. A new series of essays from the R Street Institute details the true impact of Congress willfully delegating virtually all facets of foreign affairs to the executive branch over the past several decades and why our government and the balance of powers suffer because of it.

While the president is commander in chief, Congress has immense authorities over the military, including: raising and supporting armies; providing and maintaining a Navy; creating and funding agencies dedicated to diplomacy abroad—most notably the State Department.

But evidence of Congress’s waning influence in foreign policy is not difficult to find. Significant pieces of U.S. trade policy have been ceded to the president and Congress enacted “fast track” legislative procedures to curb its own leverage on these agreements. And as President Trump continuously reminds the press corps. and Americans in almost every news conference: It is now the executive branch that deals with international organizations like the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

The four essays compiled in, “Congress and Foreign Affairs: Reasserting the Power of the First Branch” include:

  1. Congressional Undersight by Casey Burgat
  2. A Dynamic Relationship: How Congress and the President Shape Foreign Policy by James Wallner
  3. Why Congress Can’t Sue to End Military Conflicts by Anthony Marcum
  4. Congress Must Protect Its Constitutional Power by Louis Fisher

Read the compilation here.

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