When they wrote our Constitution, the Founding Fathers clearly envisaged that the President would conduct the nation's foreign affairs, assisted on certain matters, such as treaty making, by the Senate. It's doubtful they would have approved the intervention by a member of the House of Representatives in key deliberations between the U.S. and a foreign country.
Constitutional intent and historic precedent, however, seem to have exerted scant influence on House Speaker Wright. When he closeted himself recently with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and intermediary Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo, the White House and State Department found themselves in the absurd situation of wondering publicly what Wright was up to. Wright has defended his actions on the grounds that he is under no obligation to "take orders" from the White House and is responsible only to his constituents and the American people as he seeks to promote peace in Nicaragua--a goal few would challenge.
Wright's maneuvering comes at a critical time. Ortega clearly has the Reagan Administration on the defensive as he expresses not only his willingness but his eagerness to comply with the plan advanced by President Oscar Arias Sanchez of Costa Rica for the cessation of hostilities in Central America, including Nicaragua. Although Reagan has obvious reservations concerning the workability of the Arias proposal, he is in no position to challenge prematurely a plan developed and approved by the Central American countries themselves, and Ortega knows this. While endorsing the Arias plan enthusiastically, Ortega presses the United States to deal directly with him, to suspend its aid to the Contras, and insists that the latter lay down their arms as a condition to a cease-fire.