Winston Churchill address U.S. Congress.

The Congressional Presence in Foreign Relations

In the field of foreign policy the constitutional powers delegated under Articles I and II to the Congress are keyed to the phrase "advise and consent" However, in America's greatest moments of external crisis the emphasis has been on "consent." The exercise of the right to advise has, on many occasions, been less than welcome to the executive recipient of Senatorial recommendations.

No sooner had President Washington launched the nation's first Administration than he found the advice of the Congress so abusive that he strode from the Senate chamber swearing "never to return to this place." And Secretary of State John Hay summed up his bitter experiences at the hands of the legislative body in the late nineteenth century by observing: "A treaty entering the Senate is like a bull going into the arena. No one can say just how or when the final blow will fall. But one thing is certain- it will never leave the arena alive."

Much has changed in the intervening period. A "strong presidency" has evolved into a national institution welcomed in this century by most Americans. That welcome is a response to the quickened pace of communications and the apparent need for the country to act immediately and with decisiveness in the ever recurring crises of contemporary foreign policy.

The American people began to learn in Theodore Roosevelt's day to focus their attention on the White House as the seat of national power and policy in foreign affairs. The potential for this attitude to flourish has of course always existed in the constitutional powers granted to the President. His role as Commander in Chief and his mandate to "conduct the foreign policy of the United States" have from the beginning carried the possibility for an assumption of authority and an exercise of power that exceeds the principle of the equal but separate powers of the three branches of government

Only in this century, however, has that Presidential potential grown to such dramatic proportions that it

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