13 July 2008

Congressional War Powers

New approach suggested for congressional war powers, as the current War Powers Act has been ignored by Presidents of both parties.

A bipartisan commission recommended that the War Powers Act be fixed to give Congress greater say in decisions to deploy force. The new proposed law, called the War Powers Consultation Act, would promote consultation with Congress.

Click here for the commission's report.

If the War Powers Resolution of 1973 is repealed and replaced with the WarPowers Consultation Act of 2009, we firmly believe that there will be greater opportunities and incentives for the President and Congress to engage in meaningful consultation. The Joint Congressional Consultation Committee, which the Act creates, provides such a vehicle. The statute also provides clear mechanisms by which Congress can state its support or disapproval of significant armed conflicts.
Criticism of the new proposal here. Although agreeing that Congress needs to grow a spine and quit being a doormat, the proposed law may not help if Congress is not willing to confront the executive.

Traditionally, the Whigs were wary of executive power, and supported a greater role for the Congress, supporting:
... a vigorous administration of the laws; the adoption, by constitution means of such regulations as shall confine the Executive power within due bounds...
If the proposed War Powers Consultation Act gives a greater role to legislative involvement in the decisions to deploy force, then all the better. However, having a greater role to play will do the Congress no good if they don't have the political will to use responsibly the powers they are given.

1 comment:

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