Noah here, and I have a question…
I’m no Constitutional Law scholar, but I do have a general idea of how our system of Government works.
And my understanding was that it was the PRESIDENT who is supposed to negotiate with foreign nations.
Do I have that correct?
The President is the ambassador of our country to foreign nations, not individual members of Congress.
So why then do we have a delegation of some of the worst-of-the-worst in our Congress presently on site in Ukraine meeting with Zelensky?
How is this Constitutional at all?
Watch the video here on Rumble:
The CFR website gives more details:
Powers of Congress
Article I of the Constitution enumerates several of Congress’s foreign affairs powers, including those to “regulate commerce with foreign nations,” “declare war,” “raise and support armies,” “provide and maintain a navy,” and “make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.” The Constitution also makes two of the president’s foreign affairs powers—making treaties and appointing diplomats—dependent on Senate approval.
Beyond these, Congress has general powers—to “lay and collect taxes,” to draw money from the Treasury, and to “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper”—that, collectively, allow legislators to influence nearly all manner of foreign policy issues. For example, the 114th Congress (2015–2017) passed laws on topics ranging from electronic surveillance to North Korea sanctions to border security to wildlife trafficking. In one noteworthy instance, lawmakers overrode President Barack Obama’s veto to enact a law allowing victims of international terrorist attacks to sue foreign governments.
Congress also plays an oversight role. The annual appropriations process allows congressional committees to review in detail the budgets and programs of the vast military and diplomatic bureaucracies. Lawmakers must sign off on more than a trillion dollars in federal spending every year, of which more than half is allocated to defense and international affairs. Lawmakers may also stipulate how that money is to be spent. For instance, Congress repeatedly barred the Obama administration from using funds to transfer detainees out of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Congress has broad authority to conduct investigations into particular foreign policy or national security concerns. High-profile inquiries in recent years have centered on the 9/11 attacks, the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation programs, and the 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
Furthermore, Congress has the power to create, eliminate, or restructure executive branch agencies, which it has often done after major conflicts or crises. In the wake of World War II, Congress passed the National Security Act of 1947, which established the CIA and National Security Council. Following the 9/11 attacks, Congress created the Department of Homeland Security.
Powers of the President
The president’s authority in foreign affairs, as in all areas, is rooted in Article II of the Constitution. The charter grants the officeholder the powers to make treaties and appoint ambassadors with the advice and consent of the Senate (Treaties require approval of two-thirds of senators present. Appointments require consent of a simple majority.)
Presidents also rely on other clauses to support their foreign policy actions, particularly those that bestow “executive power” and the role of “commander in chief of the army and navy” on the office. From this language springs a wide array of associated or “implied” powers. For instance, from the explicit power to appoint and receive ambassadors flows the implicit authority to recognize foreign governments and conduct diplomacy with other countries generally. From the commander-in-chief clause flow powers to use military force and collect foreign intelligence.
Presidents also draw on statutory authorities. Congress has passed legislation giving the executive additional authority to act on specific foreign policy issues. For instance, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (1977) authorizes the president to impose economic sanctions on foreign entities.
Presidents also cite case law to support their claims of authority. In particular, two U.S. Supreme Court decisions—United States. v.Curtiss-Wright Export Corporation (1936) and Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company v. Sawyer (1952)—are touchstones.
In the first, the court held that President Franklin D. Roosevelt acted within his constitutional authority when he brought charges against the Curtiss-Wright Export Corporation for selling arms to Paraguay and Bolivia in violation of federal law. Executive branch attorneys often cite Justice George Sutherland’s expansive interpretation of the president’s foreign affairs powers in that case. The president is “the sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations,” he wrote on behalf of the court. “He, not Congress, has the better opportunity of knowing conditions which prevail in foreign countries and especially is this true in time of war,” he wrote.
And what about The Logan Act?
Does it apply to Congress?
Many think it does…
From the Congressional Research Service:
The Logan Act, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953, states:
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
The Logan Act was intended to prohibit United States citizens without authority from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments. There appear to have been no prosecutions under the act in its more than 200-year history. However, there have been a number of judicial references to the act, and it is not uncommon for it to be used as a point of challenge concerning dealings with foreign officials
There has been renewed interest in the Logan Act in 2015 as the result of a letter signed by 47 U.S. Senators to Iran suggesting that negotiations about a nuclear deal between the President and the Iranian leadership would be an executive agreement that another President or Congress would be able to abrogate. Some have raised questions about the constitutionality of the act, whether it applies to Members of Congress, and its current viability. Commenters have provided arguments that both support and oppose the legality of the Senators’ letter.
Although attempts have been made to repeal the act, it remains law and at least a potential sanction which could be used against anyone who without authority interferes in the foreign relations of the United States.
Not only that, but are we at war or aren’t we?
One enumerated power of Congress in the Constitution IS to declare war, but has that happened with Ukraine/Russia?
I don’t think so.
So why do they keep saying we’re “at war”?
It’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL to be at war without Congress’ approval. @LeaderHoyer @SpeakerPelosi and Democrats know this. We are NOT at war. Biden has gotten the U.S. in a shady proxy war by supplying mercenaries, weapons, advisers in the war in Ukraine. https://t.co/mhQrRu8nY6
— Dhyan (@DPrabhata) May 14, 2022
Even Senate.gov admits it is the PRESIDENT who negotiates with foreign powers:
So what is going on?
Is this more Unconstitutional behavior?