Meet the Other 535 Secretaries of State Spending Bill Shows How Lawmakers Keep an Eye on White House Foreign Forays Series: Long Arm of the Lawmakers, How Congress Micromanages, Second of a Two-Part Series. the First Part Ran on December 30, 1996

By Lawrence J. Goodrich, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, January 2, 1997 | Go to article overview

Meet the Other 535 Secretaries of State Spending Bill Shows How Lawmakers Keep an Eye on White House Foreign Forays Series: Long Arm of the Lawmakers, How Congress Micromanages, Second of a Two-Part Series. the First Part Ran on December 30, 1996


Lawrence J. Goodrich, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


A recurring joke around the State Department is that the United States has 536 secretaries of state: one at its Foggy Bottom headquarters and 535 on Capitol Hill.

The joke's not so far off the mark. Right now, Congress is sparring with the White House over US payment of its back United Nations dues, for one thing. Over the past 12 months, legislators have expressed differences with the administration over such crucial policies as aid to Russia and Ukraine, the location of Israel's capital, North Korea, and human rights in Burma and Haiti.

Some might call this micromanagement. Others might judge it legitimate congressional oversight of one of the executive branch's most important powers: the ability to shape foreign relations. Congress and the executive branch have often sparred over foreign affairs. Indeed, the postwar bipartisan consensus that reigned until the Vietnam War tore it apart was an exception, not the rule. Early in the republic, Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans favored France, while John Adams's Federalists tilted toward Britain. After World War I, a Republican Congress embarrassed Democratic President Woodrow Wilson by refusing to enter the Wilson-inspired League of Nations. More recently, Congress forced the Reagan and Bush administrations to take a tougher stand against the apartheid regime then ruling South Africa. Such disagreements between Capitol Hill and the White House reflect deep concerns among the American public, which often sees US foreign policy differently than does the governing elite. THE big omnibus appropriations bill passed by Congress last fall is a good place to see legislators at work in the field of foreign policy. It was a crucial piece of legislation that funded much of the government for fiscal year 1997. President Clinton was thus unlikely to veto the bill just because he disagreed with an overseas provision or two. The administration won some significant victories with passage of the bill. For example, a Senate bill sponsored by Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jesse Helms (R) of North Carolina would have abolished the United States Information Agency (USIA), the Arms Control and Development Agency (ACDA), and the Agency for International Development (AID). Instead, all three agencies survived. ACDA and USIA got higher appropriations from House-Senate conferees than either house had approved. AID, on the other hand, took a $30 million cut from the fiscal 1996 budget, which was a 23 percent reduction from 1995. Congress and the White House disagree mightily over payment of the US dues to the UN, which are $1.8 billion in arrears. The president and the State Department want the bill paid, saying failure to do so undermines US policy worldwide. Congress refuses to pay until the UN corrects what it sees as wasteful spending and personnel practices. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Meet the Other 535 Secretaries of State Spending Bill Shows How Lawmakers Keep an Eye on White House Foreign Forays Series: Long Arm of the Lawmakers, How Congress Micromanages, Second of a Two-Part Series. the First Part Ran on December 30, 1996
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.