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Give War Powers Back by Asking For Congress's Opinion?

Give War Powers Back by Asking For Congress's Opinion?


Adopting some wisdom from America's founding fathers, a bipartisan panel of former US officials concluded that the president should consult Congress before going to war. Congress last officially declared war, as called for in Article I of the Constitution, during World War II.

The National War Powers Commission, led by former secretaries of states James Baker III and Warren Christopher, proposed a law to require a congressional vote of approval or disapproval before the US engages in significant armed conflict for more than a week, except in cases of emergencies. The proposal pushes for cooperation and dialogue between the White House and Congress and imagines a Senate-House group that would assess the president's justification for war along with sensitive intelligence.

The Commission says it doesn't want to solve constitutional complexities; the Constitution holds that Congress declares war and controls funding, while the president is commander-in-chief. But the new law could reaffirm the notion that Congress is the president's war consultant, and not the other way around. Do you think this proposed revamping of war powers goes too far in tying the hands of the president? Or should Congress's unique ability to declare war be completely reasserted?

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