Foreign policy is typically the executive branch’s domain because that is the branch that decides who the US negotiates with and what gets offered in those negotiations. However, Tuesday’s Republican victory, particularly the GOP takeover of the House and leadership of some key committees, has the ability to affect the US's dialogue, and in some cases policy, on a few key US relationships with other countries.
The roads were empty during last year's uneventful Carmageddon, but the Los Angeles highway closure had one unexpected hitch: swarms of noisy, sightseeing helicopters.
In past nuclear cooperation agreements, the US has required nations to commit to not enriching uranium and opening nuclear sites to inspections. The Obama administration has just done away with the requirement. Congress needs oversight to combat this possibility of nuclear proliferation.
California handed redistricting to a nonpartisan commission to help break the state's chronic gridlock. The new political maps, it is becoming apparent, could do more than that.
US officials are planning to hold talks with Saudi Arabia next week over a potential civilian nuclear pact. But Israeli concerns and Saudi Arabia's rivalry with Iran could complicate matters.
Congressional appropriators voiced doubts about some aspects of Obama's speech. But the most pointed criticism was from the GOP. 'Obama has thrown Israel under the bus,' Mitt Romney said.
Some Democrats, including Sen. John Kerry, are breaking with the White House, calling for Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak to 'step down.' Republicans are deferring to President Obama's policy.