The week after President Donald Trump met Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is questioned by Congress. Testimony tapes and records show Pompeo ignoring and refusing to provide details of that U.K., NATO and Helsinki trip, and then refusing to answer reasonable questions; saying only that the U.S. foreign policy had not changed. He also indicated to members who were in that meeting, that it was not any of their business how Donald Trump conducts foreign policy, and refused to confirm or discuss what that policy even is.
It was then, and still is, unbelievable to me how Congress could accept that rebuke. It’s like they forgot who approves foreign policy in the first place, and who has oversight responsibility. Congress is responsible for foreign policy, trade, spending, wars, etc. If a President does something in those areas that differ from previous policy, he needs to get Congressional approval for that change …even if it is after the fact.
In the business world, the Board of Directors hires, fires and sets salary for its’ President; and approves policies and direction for the company. Often the Board will find a President with a new vision, and if they hire him, they will approve and monitor progress on that strategy. We often see that when a President goes rogue, catastrophic trouble follows, with the likes of Enron, Texaco and others. A Board of Directors are elected by the company’s shareholders to represent and protect their interests.
In Government; People elect Congress to set and approve policies. The President is really the CEO who oversees each government department to follow the will of the people, but is also constrained by the budget and Acts of Congress. That doesn’t always work smoothly, as we saw last year how Congress voted overwhelmingly to place stronger sanctions on Russia and the President simply ignored it until many months after the deadline, plus other unilateral policies..
Congress can and should take their role more seriously. Until then, no one knows who is in control.