Laura Belmonte, noted historian and dean of the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, will testify next week at a Congressional committee hearing in Washington D.C., examining ways to reassert Congress’ constitutional authority.

The U.S. House Committee on Rules will hold a hearing to understand how the constitutional role of Congress has been diminished and to identify opportunities to reassert congressional authority over matters such as national emergencies, foreign policy and government funding. 

Video Interview with Dean Belmonte below

“I will provide perspective as a scholar who has studied the history of the United States for over 30 years, particularly the history of U.S. foreign relations. I have a deep interest in the evolution of the balance of power both within the U.S. government and among the United States and other nations internationally,” said Belmonte.

The Rules Committee hopes to find bipartisan solutions to what it calls decades of Executive Branch encroachment on matters normally reserved for Congress.

“While the political landscape is bleak,” said Belmonte, “Congress has the power to restore the separation of powers and, by extension, to break the gridlock that has eroded popular support for Congress and faith in our system of government.”

Belmonte points out the shift has been a gradual one, regardless of which party controlled Congress or the White House.

“My key aims are to situate the current state of affairs into historic context and to stress that the present imbalance between the Executive and Legislative branches is the result of a decades-long shift, not a recent turn of events,” said Belmonte.  

The hearing will take place Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. in H-313, The Capitol

Laura Belmonte, a history professor, serves as dean of the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. A specialist in the history of U.S. foreign relations, she is author of Selling the American Way: U.S. Propaganda and the Cold War and numerous articles on cultural diplomacy. Her most recent book, The International LGBT Rights Movement: A History, will be published by Bloomsbury later this year.

Belmonte served on the national council of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the editorial board of its official journal, Diplomatic History. From 2009 to 2019, she served on the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee for Historical Diplomatic Documentation, a group that participates in ongoing debates over transparency and declassification and the intersections between historical events and contemporary diplomacy.

Schedule an interview

To secure a live or recorded interview with Laura Belmonte, contact Bill Foy by email, or by phone at 540-998-0288, or Shannon Andrea by email, or by phone at 571-858-3262.  

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