October 30, 2018

Explainer: How a Democratic U.S. House could alter foreign policy

Featuring Ilan Goldenberg

Source: Reuters

Journalist Patricia Zengerle

Democrats will try to harden U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia, Russia and North Korea if they win a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, while maintaining the status quo on hot-button areas like China and Iran, congressional sources say.

If Democrats win at least 23 more seats on Nov. 6, they will regain control of the 435-member House of Representatives from Republicans for the first time since 2011. That means they can determine what legislation can be considered in the chamber and have a bigger role in setting spending policy and writing legislation, in their challenge to U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy agenda.

But since they must still work with a likely Republican-controlled Senate to pass any bills, the Democratic majority’s greatest influence will be oversight, the ability to call hearings and, if necessary, subpoena witnesses, as they chair committees like Foreign Affairs, Armed Services and Intelligence.

If Republicans defy opinion polls and maintain control of the House after weeks of campaigning by Trump, they are expected to embrace his policies. Several influential moderates are retiring, paving the way for a more conservative Republican House that could heed Trump’s calls to cut aid for Central America and slash the foreign affairs budget by some 30 percent.

Read the full article and more in Reuters.


  • Ilan Goldenberg

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Middle East Security Program

    Ilan Goldenberg is the former Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is a foreign policy and defense expe...