Congress Unveils New Rule to Limit War Powers, Give Power Back to Congress


( – Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution grants Congress the power “to declare war.” At the same time, Article II, Section 2, names the president as the Commander-in-Chief of the nation’s armed services. Those provisions require cooperation between Congress and presidents, which doesn’t always happen. For that reason, Congress adopted the War Powers Resolution of 1973 to check the president’s ability to enter into armed conflict without Congressional consent.

On Tuesday, July 20, a bipartisan group of Senators unveiled draft legislation designed to increase Congressional control over war authorizations, national emergencies, and weapons exports. The National Security Powers Act of 2021 is sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

The draft proposal includes several provisions defining authority under the War Powers Resolution. For example, it further defines a president’s power to authorize military action. Similarly, it requires presidents to obtain Congressional approval to continue hostilities after 20 days and cuts off further funding if authorization is not received.

Additionally, the new bill would require Congressional approval for national emergencies and the sale of certain weapons to foreign entities and remove certain arms from future sales.

House Rules Committee Chair Jim McGovern (D-MA) proposed similar legislation.

The push to limit presidential power is nothing new. However, the House voted in June to repeal a couple of dated war authorizations, and now there’s this push to redefine the War Powers Resolution. 

Is there concern regarding President Joe Biden and how he might use his presidential power that America should know about?

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