Congress may not be in charge of making foreign policy, but it sure can influence its implementation. Since taking office in January 2009, members of Congress -- drawn primarily but not exclusively from the ranks of the GOP -- have slowed the Obama administration's efforts to advance its strategy when dealing with Russia, Syria, Israel, Cuba, and a host of other relationships. And the midterm elections won't be making things any easier for President Barack Obama.
GOP lawmakers stand to play a huge role in the upcoming debates next year over the promised July 2011 drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, whether to maintain or increase U.S. foreign assistance packages, and how strongly to press countries such as Russia and China to implement new sanctions against Iran.
If current polls hold, Republicans will make significant gains in the Senate and likely take the House of Representatives, elevating a set of lawmakers to new heights of power and complicating Obama's efforts to execute his foreign-policy agenda.
"You can imagine an opposition controlled Congress raising a lot of hay. There will be a lot of static, a lot of flame throwing," explained one senior Republican congressional staffer. "You're not going to see the GOP giving the administration the benefit of the doubt."
Here's a list of 10 GOP figures in Congress who will be crucial actors on the foreign-policy stage when the dust settles after the Nov. 2 election.
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