Congress needs to reclaim its war powers from president

Did you know that the United States has been involved in continuous military combat since 2002? Did you know that since 2002 our country has engaged in at least 18 conflicts that we know of each occurring without congressional approval? We will soon have soldiers fighting in a war that was authorized before they were even born.

The authority for combat engagement without congressional approval is derived from the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) Acts of 2001 and 2002. Congress through the AUMFs has effectively ceded war powers to the executive branch. This despite the Constitution clearly stating that only Congress may declare war. There was a reason why our founders placed the power to declare war solely in the hands of Congress. “The Constitution supposes what history demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch most prone to war and most interested in it, therefore the Constitution has with studied care vested that power in the Legislature.” (James Madison)

Did you know that support for AUMF repeal comes from both the political left and right? Liberals are concerned about endless war, conservatives with the loss of congressional war powers while libertarians are worried about the massive spending and expansion of government power via the military.

A further example of bipartisan support for repealing AUMF is the cooperation between the VoteVets, a liberal political action committee, and the conservative Concerned Veterans for America lobby. The two military veterans PACs disagree on nearly every political issue, but they both support and are working together for a repeal of AUMF.

With current beat of war drums toward Iran coming from the White House it is more important than ever to repeal the AUMFs.

Dick Hall


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