Congress and Foreign Affairs: How Congress Can Play a Constructive Role
The Executive Branch is not the only voice in foreign policymaking. The Constitution gives Congress numerous foreign affairs responsibilities, including the power to declare war, regulate international commerce, appropriate military funds, approve treaties and “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution” these powers, among others.Yet, too often, institutional and political barriers limit Congress’s ability to conduct effective oversight and play a more active role in foreign affairs—limiting a key voice in U.S. foreign policymaking.This meeting of the Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group will discuss how Congress can play a more constructive role in foreign affairs. Our primary speaker, Lester Munson, former staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, congressional chief of staff and deputy assistant administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development, will discuss his first-hand observations and offer important insights on how Congress can improve its voice in foreign affairs.
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