Congressional Support of the President: A Comparison of Foreign, Defense, and Domestic Policy Decision Making during and after the Cold War

Authors

  • BRANDON C. PRINS,

    1. Assistant professor of political science at the University of New Orleans. He has recently published articles in Journal of Peace Research, International Studies Quarterly, International Interactions, American Review of Politics, and Congress and the Presidency.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • BRYAN W. MARSHALL

    1. Assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. He has recently published articles in American Review of Politics, Congress and the Presidency, and Politics and Policy.
    Search for more papers by this author

  • AUTHORS' NOTE: We would like to acknowledge David Rohde and the Political Institutions and Public Choice program at Michigan State University for direction and support of this project. In addition, we thank Martin J. Rochester, Steve Shull, and Mark Souva for their insightful comments. Bryan would also like to acknowledge the research assistance of Elaine Hays and support from the University of Missouri, St. Louis Research Award. Brandon would like to acknowledge the research assistance of Paula Karlsson and financial support from the College of Liberal Arts at the University of New Orleans.

Abstract

Recent research on congressional-executive relations has concluded that partisan and ideological forces explaining decision making in domestic policy have also become dominant in the realm of foreign policy. Accordingly, scholars have inferred the effective demise of the two-presidencies. In this analysis, the authors compare models explaining bipartisan congressional support of the president on domestic issues with that of foreign and defense. Although factors relating to the congressional context tended to be influential in both policy areas, they found important differences in the effects of factors relating to the international context. They also found that congressional bipartisan support was significantly less likely on matters related to the purse strings and on issues such as trade. The contrasting effects of the explanatory factors across policy areas suggest the importance of both the two-presidencies and resurgent Congress perspectives in explaining congressional-executive interactions.

Ancillary