The Senate: Purse-String Answer

The hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee were something less than the constitutional debate they set out to be. Mired from the outset in moot legalistic questions, the sessions became instead an outlet for the unease and bitterness with which most committee members—liberals and conservatives alike—view Lyndon Johnson's management of the war.

The nominal issue was a constitutional question as delicate as any in the federal system of checks and balances: What power does Congress have to influence or change the President's conduct of a war? Committee Chairman William Fulbright evangelized...

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