As President Donald Trump approaches the foreign policy portfolio of his job with alternating disinterest and better treatment of America’s enemies than its allies, Congress has stepped in to fill the vacuum.
According to a Wednesday Politico report, the bipartisan outrage on the Hill over the administration’s lackluster response to the Saudi slaying of Jamal Khashoggi is just the most recent example of this power shift. Senators are now debating yanking U.S. support of the Saudi coalition fighting in Yemen, a huge rebuke to a President who won’t even concede Saudi responsibility for Khashoggi’s murder.
However, Congress has been disregarding Trump’s stance on foreign policy issues since the beginning of his tenure, often crossing the aisle to protect America’s interests.
Per Politico, it started when Congress disregarded Trump’s wish to slash the State Department’s budget. Members from both parties then forced through Russian sanctions for their hacking of the 2016 presidential contest, despite Trump’s reluctance to slap Russian President Vladimir Putin’s wrist.
Members of Congress have also been undermining Trump’s foreign policy authority in more subtle ways, reportedly calling representatives of countries Trump insults to assure them that America is still on their side.