The Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate will bring a tough new tone to the debate over Washington's foreign policy, with lawmakers expected use their new clout and power over the budget to promote a more interventionist foreign policy.
While leaders of the Democratic-majority Senate mostly backed President Barack Obama's international goals, Republicans plan to pressure the White House to take a tougher line on Iran, Russia and Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria.
"I think the Congress can and will be heard from, particularly on the funding side," John Thune, a member of the Senate's Republican leadership, said in a telephone interview.
After Republicans, who already controlled the House of Representatives, won a majority in the Senate on Tuesday, two of Washington's most vocal foreign policy hawks, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, came in line to chair two key Senate panels.
McCain, who has advocated a more robust response in both Ukraine and Syria, will lead the Senate Armed Services Committee, which oversees military policy. That includes a say in the budget, giving him a strong lever on policy.
Graham is due to chair the Senate appropriations subcommittee that controls the State Department's budget and can withhold or grant aid to foreign governments.