Foreign policy powers are the regulation set out by a nation when dealing with other countries. The U.S President commands the armed forces. He has jurisdiction over the foreign policy in matters dealing with international agreements and his advisory team. His duties when dealing with foreign countries are mandated and controlled by the U.S constitution. (“Relationship between Congress and President”, 2015)
The Congress has been given powers by the constitution to create agencies, give necessary funds to these agencies and charge them with administrative responsibilities. The president has control over the agencies with the power to choose its leaders. Substantially, the congress has the power to impeach and convict them when they are found guilty of misconduct and abuse of office. (“Relationship between Congress and President”, 2015) Additionally, the Congress is responsible for declaring war, managing funds for foreign policies, ratifying treaties and other functions outlined in the constitution.
From the period the constitution was written, I believe the Congress has enjoyed more power than the presidency. The balance of power has continuously been exchanged between the congress and the president depending on the people involved and the circumstances. I find the congress to have a significant advantage because it has all the legislative power. The congress has a responsibility to check the executive having independence from it. The constitution provides the congress with the mandate to disapprove leaders appointed by the president. The balance is mainly uniform where each branch has different duties to perform. Somehow, the existing balance overlaps and the balance can be maintained by allowing the branches to override each other.
The congress can make laws, and the president can vet any proposal they make. The president may decide to purchase military items, but the congress can choose to decrease or increase his budget. I view the president should not have a lot of power; historically giving him more control over the congress has led the U.S into chaos. The balance of power facilitates safeguarding citizens from abuse of power and authority from both sides.
The balance of power is between the president, and the Congress is contemporary for the international environment. Most of the international agreements are currently made by the United States. When making these agreements, the president performs this duty, and the Congress has to approve or disapprove. (Masters, 2017)
According to Masters (2017), foreign policy has provided the head of the state with power over negotiating and signing treaties for the international environment. Some issues with ramifications to domestic countries could be made if this balance was not maintained and the president was allowed to sign without the consent of the Congress. A balance of power leads to the formulation of valid agreements in the international environment. The president cannot make any agreement that he deems beneficial to him without consideration of their impact on the United States and the approval from the Congress. For example, when passing a health bill, the Congress drafts and comes up with the bill, but the president has to sign for it to be active in law.
The international environment has benefited from this balance as the president has command over the armed forces and the Congress can declare war. When a foreign country is faced with a hostile situation, the president and the Congress agree to assist such a nation. (Masters, 2017) An example is the war U.S has intervened in Libya to facilitate solving conflicts between citizens due to natural resources. It has also assisted foreign countries to fight militia groups such as the ISIS. Another example is when making a budget of funds for international policies. The President can decide to purchase military equipment for support in foreign countries, but the decision is within the Congress as to whether to increase or decrease the required funds.
I would suggest that neither the Congress nor the president should be given additional powers. They should be able to form an administration structure together which looks into international law making. By doing this, a balance would be created such that their participation must be involved when dealing with international agreements. This would offer a better chance for public participation and a transparent mechanism for dealing with international solutions. A more balanced and efficient system would be developed when dealing with international lawmaking by the United States. The two branches depend on each other, and therefore none should be given more power over the other. Giving the president more controls over the congress decisions could lead to a civil war; he could declare war on any foreign nation which he feels doesn't please him and erupt global chaos. Without the Congress control over U.S funds, the president could misuse public funds as he wishes.
In conclusion, having the foreign powers balanced is in line with best interests for the whole world. The balance creates peace, prevents abuse from corruption and abuse of authority when exercising constitutional duties. Both the Congress and the president have to work in harmony to achieve a mutual understanding. Each of the two branches should monitor decisions by the other to create and maintain a balanced foreign policy.
Masters, Jonathan. “U.S. Foreign Policy Powers: Congress and the President. “Council on Foreign Relations, 2017, www.cfr.org/backgrounder/us-foreign-policy-powers-congress-and-president.
“Relationship between the U.S. Congress and the U.S. President.”ASPOINT, 2015. academy.gktoday.in/article/relationship-between-the-u-s-congress-and-the-u-s-president/. Accessed 8th December 2017.
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