The House of Representatives and Foreign Affairs

The House of Representatives and Foreign Affairs

The House of Representatives and Foreign Affairs

The House of Representatives and Foreign Affairs

Excerpt

The House of Representatives has not been regarded as an important body in the control of foreign affairs. Social scientists have rightly focused their attention on the President and, secondarily, the Senate. With the rise of the United States to leadership of the free world beginning in World War II, the House assumed a more significant role in the control of international matters. Complex policies requiring legislative action and sustained public support, the fact that the life of each constituent is touched by these policies, and the need for immense sums of money to support the nation's global business -- all of these factors have combined to enhance the influence of the House, the body closest to the people and the traditional guardian of the nation's purse.

This study portrays, analyzes, and appraises the adjustment of the House of Representatives to its enhanced role in foreign affairs. Against a background of its traditional behavior in history and the first stirrings of greater concern before American involvement in World War II, the study focuses on the period beginning late in World War II through the postwar years. Historians never are certain when the "postwar years" end, but by 1957 it seemed as if the United States was facing a complex of challenges that marked the end of the postwar era. This study covers a dozen critical years intensively, a time span of sufficient duration to observe the enduring qualities of the behavior of the House in foreign affairs that will govern its response in the future.

The spectrum of behavior and policy covered by the phrase "foreign affairs" is indeed wide and, of course, much of the business of the House traditionally regarded as domestic bears significantly on the international posture of the United States. The . . .

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