War authorization
Article 1 of our Constitution states that only Congress has the power to declare war. However, our nation has been taken to war without the consent of Congress by presidents who claimed the bombing of Kosovo and the Korean and Viet Nam Wars were “police actions,” not subject to Congressional approval. In an attempt to close this loophole, the War Powers Resolution was passed in 1973 to limit a president’s ability to wage large-scale, long-term war without the support of Congress and the public. In an emergency, this law allows the President to use military force but requires him or her to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action. Furthermore, the duration of such an action is limited to only 60 days unless Congress consents to the use of military force or declares a state of war. The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) is the law which authorized the use of military action against Iraq. This broad resolution, which signaled the beginning of our War on Terror, has been interpreted by Presidents Bush and Obama as authorization for “any president at any time to do whatever they wanted against a terrorist group.” Recent military actions, including airstrikes and the deployment of military personnel to Iraq to fight the Islamic State movement, received authorized under this 14 year old resolution. Many believe the AUMF resolution should be formally concluded and that Congress should be required to debate and pass a new resolution specifically authorizing military actions against ISIS, to be concluded within a specific timeframe.

Pending Resolution/Legislation:
H.J.RES.27 - Authorization for Use of Military Force Against ISIL Resolution
H.R.1304 - To repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002

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Poll Opening Date
March 26, 2020
Poll Closing Date
April 1, 2020

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