Bipartisan Movement In Congress To Control Declaring War

There is a growing sense among both Republican and Democratic members of Congress that the issue of when and how the United States becomes involved in fighting a war should be under the control of Congress, not merely the Executive. A proposed bill would amend the War Powers Resolution which was enacted during the Vietnam War over a Nixon veto in an effort to restore Congressional control by requiring the president to report any military action to Congress within 48 hours. It also required the president to withdraw forces after 60-90 days unless Congress didn’t explicitly vote an extension. The Constitution clearly places power to declare war in the hands of Congress, but in recent years presidents have simply bypassed that body and deployed troops in war situations. According to Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North carolina, “Throughout American history, the balance too often has been ignored” since Congress has not been allowed to exercise its war making power.

The proposed legislation would prohibit the president from ordering a military actions without congressional approval unless American troops were attacked. This proposal is certainly in the spirit of what our Founding Fathers wanted when they wrote the Constitution. AS Republican congressman, Ron Paul, stated, “we don’t want the debate after the war,”