Speaking today at The Heritage Foundation, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) called for Congress to reassert itself in foreign policy.

“Since the Korean War, Congress has ignored its responsibility to restrain the President,” Paul explained to a packed crowd in Heritage’s Allison Auditorium. “Congress has abdicated its role in declaring war.”

He outlined his vision of America’s role in the world:

What the United States needs now is a foreign policy that finds a middle path. A policy that is not rash or reckless. A foreign policy that is reluctant, restrained by Constitutional checks and balances but does not appease.

Paul cited the American intervention in Libya as a recent example of Congressional neglect of foreign policy:

We did not declare war or authorize force to begin war with Libya. This is a dangerous precedent. In our foreign policy, Congress has become not even a rubber stamp but an irrelevancy. With Libya, the President sought permission from the UN, from NATO, from the Arab League–everyone but the US Congress! And how did Congress react? Congress let him get away with it.

While Congress does have the power to cut off funds for a war, he said this is not enough of a threat to fall back on. In fact, there is no historical example of this ever happening.

Paul advocated a strategy of containment toward radical Islam, which he acknowledged to be a real threat. This containment policy would be similar to what the U.S. adopted towards the Soviet Union for much of the Cold War.

Some libertarians argue that western occupation and intervention fans the flames of radical Islam. I agree. But I don’t agree that absent western occupation that radical Islam “goes quietly into that good night.”… Containment, though, should be discussed as an option with regard to the more generalized threat from radical Islam. Radical Islam, like communism, is an ideology with far reach and will require a firm and patient opposition.

Paul also explained the link between our foreign and domestic policies. The runaway debt poses a threat to our national security, he said. And, he added, “The looming debt crisis will force us to reassess our role in the world.”

Do you think Congress should reassert itself in foreign policy?

Comments (19)

Dewey Switzer - February 6, 2013

Congress has ignored responsibilities and duties given by
the Constitution. Get back to Basics and do your job. This
President does not have the Authority to declare war on his own. He
does not have Budget authority on his own. He does not have
Authority to issue new regulations on his own. HE IS NOT KING! Do
your Job! Quit shirking your duties and step up!

theodore wight - February 6, 2013

There is no foreign policy, it is the president flailing
around like a whirling dervish. The biggest change from President
Bush is to withdraw, let others lead and kill arbitrarily with
drones. I cannot believe this nation is a cold-blooded killer with
no constitutional protections for those killed. It shames me as an
American. The Democratic Party hated President Bush for “enhanced
interrogation” yet loves President Obama for killing people he
“thinks” “might” do some “harm” to America. This is not the America
into which I was born 70 years ago. We wore white hats!

Samuel W. Baugh - February 6, 2013

I believe congress should reassert itself in foreign
policy. I also believe that any congressman that is in favor of
limiting or modifing the US Constitution and attempts to circumvent
the provisions of these documents: Constitution, Billl of Rights
and the amendments without due process, (i.e. an amendment) should
be labeled for what he or she is “A Terrorist” the enemy from
within and removed from office. This is particualrly applicable to
the POTUS the VP and the key secretaries; State and Defense as well
as members of the Supreme Court. Anyone guilty of aiding and
abetting the enemy as in Bengazi and certain other gun and drug
running operations shall be labeled “A Traitor” and receive
accordingly the full punishment of the law under the articles of

Betty - February 6, 2013

Congress needs to hold the line for the constitutional
responsibilities that are duly given it in the Constitution. For
sure, the House needs to squeeze the purse until there is not a
penny or a ha’ penny that escapes from that purse! and Congress
needs to unfund every ounce of that Obamacare bill!

samuel D Gerrish - February 6, 2013

Yes, Congress should reassert it’s constitutional

bill kendall - February 6, 2013


Thomas Jacobs - February 6, 2013

yes both congress & the senate should be more
involved, this pesident is running over the top of them, he won’t
even listen to a judge that say 3 of his pck were not legal there
are other judges that have told Obama what he did was not legal yet
his president marches on. he only way were going to contain Obama
is by forcing him to obey the law & the constution! he is
no better than any other legal citizen of the United states of
America. in my opinion I think this president should be brought up
on charges of treasion aginst the United States.

Martha Stanford - February 6, 2013

Congress should Never abdicate Anything to obama! ‘Check
and Balance’ means it is their responsibility to call out obama and
stand up to him when he behaves like a dictator. The House
leadership has Not been doing their job to look out for the best
interests of ‘We the People’!

Charles Richards - February 6, 2013

Definitely yes!

Karen Llewellyn - February 7, 2013

Congress needs to assert itself PERIOD. When the president
names czars to run large programs in government, when he fills
vacancies that are not his to fill, when he purposely misses
deadlines, and when he demands that Congress cave in to his demands
while being unwilling to compromise any of his desires. Foreign
policy is just ONE of the many places Congress needs to step up and
act like grownups to control a selfish, childish

Jules Dubuisson - February 7, 2013

It should certainly express the way we should go and
attempt to cause the executive branch to go along in every way
allowed by the Constitution

Samuel R. Kleinsasser - February 7, 2013

For goodness’ sake, the U. S. Congress should return to a
Constitutional policy, and BTW, fully defund Obamacare! And

Joseph F. Kaltz - February 7, 2013

Congress absolutely needs to retain it’s Constitutional
Role as one of Three Equal Branches of our Government as prescribed
in the Constitution!

don johnson - February 7, 2013

Yes congress should reassert it’s constitutional role in
foreign policy.

Margaret Winkle - February 7, 2013

Yes, I agree with Rand Paul on foreign policy. We need to
get out of and stop funding the United Nations, they want to run
our country and no one can do that but “We The People”

Patricia - February 7, 2013

Yes. They are required to do this, so they must.

William - February 7, 2013

stop spending impeach this president

Leah - February 7, 2013

If Congress does NOT step up and carry out its Constitutional responsibilities, we will have ourselves a dictator in short order! Obama has stepped over the people, trampled the Constitution, and shamed a great Nation.
I believe that we should keep in mind, however, while it is popular to disparage Congress and to point to their low approval ratings, that there are many self-LESS men and women, who are, indeed, working tirelessly to support and defend our Constitution and our Nation. Please pray for them!

Diane Winston - February 8, 2013

Congress should be exercising its Constitutional duties. I
am deeply disappointed in the Republican majority having no spine
at all. ( And then the few conservative members, duly elected, are
being punished by being removed from committee assignments). Let’s
concentrate on getting power back in the hands of the branch of
government responsible according to the Constitution. The President
is not the king or emperor. He is a President with specified

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