For instance, with reference to foreign policy, the President could veto the legislature while the Congress could supersede the President’s veto. Similarly, the judiciary could declare a law of Congress or an action by the President unconstitutional. In other words, the process of policy making in the U. S cuts across different government arms and structures (Russell, 2000). One of these structures is the Senate, which the US Constitution empowers to influence the foreign policy process. The Senate has the role of advising the President in negotiating agreements with foreign governments and organisations.
The Senate also consents to such agreements once signed by the executive. Further, the Senate approves presidential appointees to important foreign policy jobs such as the Secretary of State, career Foreign Service officers, ambassadors other high-ranking officials of the State Department. The role of the Congress in foreign affairs and policy became more pronounced after the Vietnam War. Nonetheless, recently, the effectiveness of the Congress in checking the executive’s foreign policy has been question given that the President has always found some way to dodge the requirements for Congress’ approval.
An example is the invasion of Libya by President Barrack Obama, which contentiously circumvented the War Power’s Resolution. The President is the other important player in the foreign policy making process in the US. In the Constitution, the President is the head of state and government. In the former role, the President is the personification of the country, its image, representative and voice to foreign lands. In the capacity of head of government, it is the President’s role to formulate, acquire the necessary resources for implementation and supervise the execution of foreign policy.
In addition, the President organizes and directs the relevant domestic and foreign agencies and departments involved in the foreign policy process (Russell, 2000). Since the holder of the office is elected nationally, he/she is uniquely placed to identify, articulate and pursue the interests of U. S citizens. However, the specific foreign policy powers of the President as provided for in the Constitution are rather restricted. For instance, the President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed forces, nominates and appoints ambassadors and cabinet secretaries and makes treaties upon advice and consent by two thirds of the Senators.
In spite of the specific and limited foreign policy powers, the President has rather crucial foreign policy roles.
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