Whose Foreign Policy Is It Anyway?

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Give a sanctions-happy Congress an inch and they'll take, well, Iran. Which is why President Clinton will veto legislation mandating sanctions on countries selling missile technology to Iran. The move is an attempt to return foreign policy-making squarely into the orbit of the White House. "There's a strong feeling at the White House that sanctions hamstring a president's ability to conduct effective foreign policy," says TIME State Department correspondent Dean Fischer. "It's easy for Congress to vote for such packages because they're not responsible for the conduct of foreign policy," says Fischer. The hard part comes later, when the president has to deal with the consequences. Example: Clinton was recently forced to permanently waive some Helms-Burton Act sanctions against companies trading with Cuba, after the issue threatened to paralyze relations with important U.S. allies. Still, with a 392-22 majority in the House and a 90-4 majority in the Senate behind the bill, Clinton has a hard fight hard ahead to restore his authority.