Analysis: Battle Deferred in Congress
Council on Foreign Relations
February 7, 2007
Prepared by: Lionel Beehner
The standoff reflects deep divisions on Capitol Hill over how to proceed with the Iraq War and how Congress should wield wartime powers. Nancy E. Roman, director of CFR’s Washington office, in this CFR.org Podcast says Congress holds two main levers: It can shape the public debate with its members’ statements and resolutions which serve as a “warning shot over the bow,” and it holds the power of the purse. Many experts, including CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Noah Feldman, believe Congress should stick to oversight because a body of 535 members is “very poorly suited to laying out the order of battle.” The American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka sees nothing but politics (Daily Star) beneath the sudden upsurge in congressional interest in foreign policy, while Lawrence J. Korb at the Center for American Progress says Congress is only now doing the job it should have been doing since 9/11. “Congress can and should use its power to cut off funding for troop escalation and begin the process of redeploying troops.”
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