If there is collision between the president and Congress, can Congress restrain the president in foreign policy making? The president is the foreign policy leader for the United States with...

If there is collision between the president and Congress, can Congress restrain the president in foreign policy making?

The president is the foreign policy leader for the United States with an important political,military,and economic role in the international arena

Expert Answers
aaronwalter eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The short answer is yes.

Congress under the U.S. Constitution has the duty to ratify treaties. Therefore, a 'check' against the executive branch (president) power. The best example of this is President Wilson's League of Nation Charter (14 points). Congress, under the control of another party, refused to ratify the treaty. There has been in recent decades serious debate on potential Congressional refusal to ratify the NAFTA treaty (it did) as well as other regional (NATO) and international treaties.

The United Nations Ambassador as well as Secretary of State are both confirmed by the Senate (upper house of Congress). There can be and have been open conflict on the presidents nominees. For example, Congress did not confirm John Bolton, President Bush's UN Ambassador (he eventually got the post, but through a procedure called a recess appointment).

Moreover, the president as Commander in Chief sends the military into conflict. However, under the 1973 War Powers Act, designed to limit the president's power to commit U.S. troops abroad without congressional approval. This had serious consquences on U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam, the Gulf War (1991) and was quite controversal as an issue in the lead up to the Iraq War (Gulf War II) of 2003.

Hope it helps.