The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (“Act”) was introduced to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. In addition to policy issues, which have been the subject of considerable debate, the Act raises interesting questions concerning the scope of congressional and executive authority in the conduct of foreign affairs, and the extent to which Congress can use its appropriations power to influence executive action in this area. President Clinton opposed the Dole-Kyl Bill on policy grounds and the Justice Department prepared a memorandum (“Memorandum”) arguing that the Dole-Kyl Bill is unconstitutional. Essentially, the Memorandum argued that the Bill: (1) interfered with the President's power to conduct foreign affairs and make decisions pertaining to recognition, and (2) is an inappropriate exercise of Congress' appropriations power because it includes an unconstitutional condition. The issue is whether Congress can enact legislation that may effect U.S. foreign policy interests, and whether it can do so by use of the appropriations power. Long established practice, the writings of scholars and statesmen, and judicial decisions, all indicate that the answer to both is clearly yes.
The Jerusalem Embassy Act,
19 Fordham Int'l L.J. 1379
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol19/iss4/4