When that the third branch, the judicial arm

When drafting the constitution of the United States the founding fathers took great precautions in ensuring that no one branch of government became too powerful and established an authoritarian regime. In order to do this, the drafters of the Constitution implemented a system of checks and balances in nearly all aspects of the new republic’s government. One of these checks and balances was the distribution of foreign policy power between Congress and the President.  This balance of power would be an important deterrent to one branch of the government abusing its power which could result in catastrophic decisions such as dragging the nation into unnecessary or unwanted foreign entanglements.

This friction was created by design not only to ward off tyrannical rule but also fix many of the problems that the previous Articles of Confederation created. When supporting  the ratification of the Constitution, James Madison wrote: “If there is a principle in our Constitution, indeed in any free Constitution, more sacred than any other, it is that which separates the legislative, executive, and judicial powers.”  Due to the complex wording of the Constitution, it can be difficult to understand the differences between the legislative branch and Congress and the intrinsic divisions between them. This opacity of power is also bolstered due to the fact that the third branch, the judicial arm of government, does not typically become involved regarding foreign disputes.  As a result, this creates a constant power struggle between the legislative and executive branches.  In order to understand how this complex dynamic works within the government of the United States, observers must first look towards to the foreign policy provided to the President of the United States.  Second the foreign policy authority of Congress, and third how these powers work together by comparing and using historical precedent and examples.In order to understand the powers of Congress, one first must look at Article I of the Constitution that enumerates several of Congress’s foreign affairs powers.

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This includes the many different powers like the ability to regulate commerce with foreign nations, declare war with foreign nations, raise and support armies and provide and maintain a navy, and creates rules for the government and regulation the military.  The Constitution also allows for Congress to check two of the President’s foreign affairs powers, make treaties and appointing diplomats.  The act of both making treaties and appointing diplomats are however dependent on Senate approval.  Congress’s general powers also allow the collection of taxes to draw money from the Treasury, and to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper that allow the legislative branch to control many foreign policy decisions. For example, the last session of Congress during the Obama administration was able to pass a variety of laws that affect America’s foreign policy that ranged from electronic surveillance to North Korean sanctions to border security to wildlife trafficking. One of the following issues often spurs conflict between Congress and the Executive Branch is Military operations.

War powers are once again divided between the two branches.  While only Congress can declare war, many presidents have ordered U.S.

forces into warlike operations without congressional authorization. While presidents can use military force to repel an attack, it is unclear when they may actually the use of military force on their own authority. Toward the end of the Vietnam War, Congress sought to regulate the use of military force by enacting the War Powers Resolution over President Richard Nixon’s veto. Executive branch attorneys have questioned parts of the resolution’s constitutionality ever since, and many presidents have flouted it. In 2001, Congress authorized President George W.

Bush to use military force against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks; and, in 2002, it approved U.S. military action against Iraq. However, recently legal experts from both parties have said the President should have obtained additional authorities to use military force in Libya, Iraq, and Syria. Congress can also use its “power of the purse” to rein in the President’s military ambitions by restricting the funding to the military, but historically legislators do not typically take action until near the end of a conflict.

In modern times however, military spending has only increased and shows no sign of slowing down no matter who is in power. Another deterrent to restricting military spending by lawmakers is the fact that they are often seen by their constituents as holding back funding for U.S. forces fighting abroad and therefore are not patriotic or do not care for our military/veterans. In the past during the Vietnam War, lawmakers passed several amendments prohibiting the use of funds for combat operations in Vietnam and neighboring countries. Congress took similar measures in the 1980s with regard to Nicaragua, and in the 1990s with Somalia.

One particular case where the Executive branch conflicted with the Legislative branch happened recently when President Barack Obama’s vetoed the bill to authorize a law permitting casualties of victims of terrorist attacks to sue foreign entities.  This demonstrates the unmistakable division of power and struggle that Congress and the President have when attempting to control foreign policy. Congress can likewise assume an oversight position on foreign policy issues that enables them increase their power. The yearly appointments process enables Congressional Committees to survey, in detail, the financial plans and projects of the huge military and strategic administrations. Legislators must approve more than a trillion dollars in government spending each year, of which the greater part is allotted to military spending to secure domestic safety.

Administrators may likewise control how that cash is to be spent on foreign aid diplomatic missions and other aspects of foreign policy which require a large amount of spending. Another case of Congress conflicting with the executive branch is the point at which the last session of Congress conflicted with the Obama organization from utilizing funds to expel prisoners out of the military jail at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Congress has expansive expert to direct examinations concerning specific outside approach or national security concerns. As of late they have utilized this power in a few prominent request as of late have concentrated on a few residential issues like the 9/11 assaults, and the 2012 assault on U.S.

political offices in Benghazi, Libya or the Central Intelligence Agency’s detainment and cross examination programs. Congress additionally has the ability to make, take out, or rebuild official branch offices, which it has regularly done after real clashes or emergencies keeping in mind the end goal to enable them to acquire political focuses. Cases previously, Congress made the National Security Act of 1947, which set up the CIA and National Security Council amid WWII. Be that as it may, in later occasions such as the fallout of the 9/11 assaults, Congress made the Department of Homeland Security to manage dangers from abroad that debilitate the nationals of the unified states. These cases show the considerable power that Congress has in deciding the remote strategy of the United States.When understanding how the executive branch gets its power observers must look to the Constitution.

The President’s authority in foreign affairs, just like the rest of his/her authority, is rooted in Article II of the Constitution. The Constitution grants the executive the powers to make treaties and appoint Ambassadors with the advice and consent of the Senate. While the President is able to appoint Ambassadors and many other positions the Senate can check his power through an approval process.  In some instances, the two branches cooperate for example when the Congress approves the President’s appointment.  In other cases such as many recent examples in the Obama administration, Congress would not approve the President’s appointments. Treaties require the approval of two-thirds of Senators present which also acts as another check on the executive branch. Appointments require the approval of a simple majority which is just over 5 percent. Presidents also rely on other clauses to support their foreign policy actions, especially those that allow executive power and the role of Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy.

  From the Commander-in-Chief clause in the constitution, the powers to use military force and collect foreign intelligence is given to the executive branch.The ability to appoint and host ambassadors is another clear example of the power that the executive branch holds. This allows the executive branch to control how they interact with foreign nations and who will be representing the nation. Typically this means that the ambassadors that the presidents appoint will be loyal to them and will reflect the president’s ideas on foreign policy not necessarily the ideas of Congress. Recognizing a foreign government and conducting diplomacy gives the executive branch broad power however though Congress must confirm the ambassadors chosen by the executive branch.

This is another example of Congress checking the power of the executive due to the fact that if Congress does not approve of the president’s choices for ambassadors they cannot appoint the selected candidates.However though recently Congress has passed legislation giving the executive additional authority to act on specific foreign policy issues which demonstrate the two branches working together. One examples in the past relating to economic foreign policy is the creation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 that allows the President to impose economic sanctions on foreign entities without the need for Congress to vote on the issues.

This made it easier for the executive branch to flex its foreign policy muscles while removing some power of the legislative branch. Presidents have likewise hindered at congressional endeavors to withhold financial or security help from governments or substances with poor human rights records. For example, amid the Obama organization, senior U.S. military leaders said that, while well meaning, limitations on U.

S. help confused other remote approach goals, similar to counter terrorism or counternarcotics. Insight. Congress passed a few laws directing knowledge assembling and built up advisory groups to regulate the official branch’s exercises in regions including secretive operations.

Numerous presidents however have questioned these improvements expressing that the administrative branch was infringing on their purview. Congress has additionally started to assert a bigger part in insight oversight as far back as the 1970s. One occasion, specifically, was after the Church Committee revealed protection mishandle submitted by the CIA, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and National Security Agency. Over the years the Senate has also approved more than 1,600 treaties but has also rejected or refused to consider many other agreements presented to them. After the great war,  many US senators rejected the Treaty of Versailles, which had been negotiated by President Woodrow Wilson in France at the time.

More recently, however, a small group in the Senate has blocked ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea despite the support of both Republican and Democratic administrations. Political hurdles have always plagued treaties which have led presidents to create many major multinational agreements without Senate consent. One modern example is the Paris Agreement to address climate change or the Iran nuclear agreement to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Bot of these agreements was negotiated by the executive branch without the consent of the legislative branch at the time.

Both of these were not approved by Congress yet significant importance on the global scene and dictated the united state’s stance on very important issues. Thus, legal analysts say, future presidents could likely withdraw from them without congressional consent which grants the president complete power over the agreement and follow-through made by the predecessors. The Constitution does not clearly say whether presidents need the legislative branch consent to end treaties so as of now the current president has all of the power. The Constitution however clearly grants the executive branch powers to regulate foreign commerce, however, though lawmakers for decades granted president’s authority to negotiate trade deals within established parameters. This follows a clear pattern of Congress in recent times granting the executive branch more power of foreign affairs. Presidents are also constitutionally bound to execute federal immigration laws, but it is still unclear over how much power they have when acting. Many Republican lawmakers in the past have stated that Obama administration ignored the law when it established programs that shielded undocumented immigrants from deportation. The administration at the time, however, stated that it had broad discretion to decide how to spend the government’s scarce resources on enforcement and therefore did not violate the law like the lawmakers in Congress called.

In recent times, several  Democratic lawmakers stated that the current President Donald J. Trump had overstepped his constitutional authority when he attempted to issue a traveling block from several Muslim majority countries from entering the United States.As America enters the modern age and political parties become more and more polarized observers tend to notice the decreasing of bipartisan work well a sharp increase of same party members working together on everything. This divide in American politics is one of the primary reasons that we see much more cooperation between the legislative and executive branch rather than conflict. In today’s political atmosphere if a political party controls both the legislative and executive branches they often work together on everything rather than addressing each issue individually.

This is much different than the founding fathers intended when they created the checks and balance system. both the legislative and executive branches were supposed to check each other’s power and their conflict would ensure that no one branch would become too influential in foreign policy. According to James Fallows, A political analyst from the Atlantic Partisanship has reached an all-time high ever since 2010 and the minority parties have consistently done well to discipline their ranks and act as a complete opposition Force to the ruling party. however, now that the ruling party controls all branches of government it is clear that the conflict the founding fathers intended to act as a balance between the branches is no longer present.

In conclusion, it is very opaque when it comes to which branch of the government should be dominant in foreign policy. However, after extensive research, it is clear to me that in the system the legislative branch would be more dominant in foreign policy rather than the executive. From my research, it is simply too dangerous to have one person be more dominant than any other branch when it comes to foreign policy due to the severity and importance of the issue. While there are already many checks on the executive branch’s foreign policy power in America’s current state of electoral process it is clear that the president does not represent the majority of Americans. typically Congress is an equal representation of the American people due to the fact that it does not use the Electoral College an outdated system that does not truly reflect the political ideals of the American people.

Therefore when it comes to extremely important issues such as foreign policy the more dominant Branch should be the legislative branch due to the fact that accurately represents the American people and is held more accountable to the American people do to the more constant elections in the multitude of people within the legislative branch. The fact that there are many people in the legislative branch creates its own realm of conflict and checks and balances that ensures that a simple surge of emotion or ideas does not overwhelm all of those in Congress and lead to any rash or dangerous decisions when it comes to foreign policy. therefore it is clear that the legislative branch should be the more dominant Force when it comes to foreign policy due to the fact that it more accurately represents the American people and it is made up of many different individuals which ensures a significant level of debate when acting policies.


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