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Senate’s Role in Foreign Relations

By granting the Senate the sole power to offer advice and consent on nominations and treaties, the Constitution gives senators a major role in American foreign policy. Presidents nominate diplomats and negotiate treaties, but the Senate determines whether those nominees will serve or if those treaties will be ratified. This division of powers has caused the Senate to spar with presidents, but it also has given senators an expertise in foreign affairs. Presidents frequently tap senators to serve as secretary of state.