Thursday, 12 April 2007

The Proper Roles of Congress and the Presidency

"Members of Congress are not simply potted plants, though the White House apparently would like them to be. Congress plays an important role in determining policy and providing funding for America's international policies. It is important for us to get first-hand information on these critical issues facing our nation, because as we have unfortunately seen, we cannot rely on the Administration to give us accurate and untainted information." - Representative Tom Lantos, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

There are a number of fundamental struggles going on between the Presidency and Congress at the moment - and they are not just about the inevitable conflict between a Republican Executive and a Democratic Party controlled Congress.

Congressman Lantos' remarks come after sustained criticism of leaders of Congress by the administration for meeting foreign leaders. Is foreign policy the exclusive preserve of the President? What are your views?

The controversy over the firing of attorneys has now entered a new phase. Subpoenas have been issued - and the President is asserting 'executive privilege'.

Recess appointments are a third example of the current struggle between the two branches.

Things are certainly getting interesting in Washington these days. Your observations would be appreciated by myself, and the community who follow this blog.