My students will all be aware of the feelings of Congress over the Iran nuclear deal that Obama negotiated, essentially cutting Congress out of the loop. Iran recently tested a ballistic missile and Congress is now demanding that Obama take some action over this event.
This is really useful as it highlights the roles of committees in Congress and the role of committee chairs, all of which is part of the Unit 4 topic on Congress. In this case, the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, Ed Royce, is using is position to try and get Obama to act. It is also a useful example for the whole of Unit 4 looking at the ways in which the branches can try and control each other beyond the methods laid out in the Constitution. Royce’s use of persuasion and the press in this manner to try to get Obama to act on foreign affairs, an area where the President normally dominates, is particularly useful. This could be used to show the impact of a Republican-led Congress or the weakness that may become apparent as Obama approaches the end of his presidency.