A Rare Foreign Policy Win: Congress Defends the Internet

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

It is often said that the President controls foreign policy, and that there is little Congress can do, within its more limited foreign policy mandate, to direct it. The Republican-controlled Congress–and the U.S. House of Representatives in particular–has defied that conventional wisdom by stopping President Barack Obama’s worst foreign policy blunder by far–namely, the effort to end U.S. control over Internet domain names, which would have boosted the enemies of freedom.

As L. Gordon Crovitz pointed out Monday in a brilliant column in the Wall Street Journal, the much-derided “cromnibus” spending bill that was enacted in the lame-duck session last year included a section barring the Department of Commerce from spending any money to put President Obama’s plan into effect, thus preserving U.S. control over Icann until well into the next presidency, which–Democrat or Republican–is almost certainly going to be less inclined towards surrender.

Speaker of the House John Boehner deserves much credit for ensuring the defense of U.S. sovereignty–which, in this case, is synonymous with liberty worldwide.

The victory is a timely one, as it comes when Congress is trying to take a stronger line against Iran than the administration would like. In the past, efforts to chart an independent foreign policy have been futile or misguided (e.g. Democrats’ overtures to Syria in 2007-9). This time may be very different–because it must be.

Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.

Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak