U.S. Senate Takes First Step Toward Reclaiming War Powers from Executive Branch

February 28, 2018 | By forimmediaterelease.net - | Filed in: Press Releases.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A bipartisan team of U.S. Senators led by Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) today introduced a Congressional joint resolution aimed at ending U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war inside Yemen.  This resolution will force the first-ever vote in the U.S. Senate on whether to withdraw U.S. armed forces from a war authorized solely by U.S. Presidents.

Today’s joint resolution was the culmination of the courageous actions of the Senators and the groundwork laid by the Committee for Responsible Foreign Policy (CFRP).  CFRP is a bipartisan initiative aimed at reminding and encouraging Members of Congress as to their Constitutional authority granted solely to the Legislative Branch under Article I “To declare War.”

The Sanders / Lee / Murphy Joint Senate Resolution attempts to initiate debate upon U.S. military action in support of the Saudi Arabian war against rebel forces in Yemen.  In the eyes of the Senate sponsors, U.S. actions in this conflict amount to an undeclared war by the United States in the Middle East based solely upon Executive Branch desires.  All wars in which the U.S. engages should, by Constitutional mandate, be debated and declared by the Legislative Branch of government.

CRFP spokesman Bill Dolbow pointed out that Congress has long abdicated its war making responsibilities.  “Since the 1950s, Congress has found it easier to simply let U.S. Presidents assume responsibility for committing U.S. forces to various conflicts, thus avoiding responsibility for potential failures.”  But with as many as nine current undeclared Presidential wars involving U.S. forces raging today, “the moment has arrived for Article I Constitutional checks and balances to return,” Dolbow added.

The public seems to agree.  A recently commissioned poll by J. Wallin Opinion Research revealed a couple of surprising factoids.

  • Nearly 65% of Americans disapprove of allowing foreign military involvement without formal approval by Congress;
  • 57% of surveyed citizens believed the billions spent on weaponry and military aid to foreign countries was counterproductive to protecting American interests.

The Committee for Responsible Foreign Policy and its allies maintain no specific position on any given military conflict, merely that all conflicts or wars involving U.S. military forces should properly be debated within the halls of Congress.  “The people’s will, as voiced through their elected representatives, is almost always the wisest advice – and the basis for sustained public support for conflicts requiring U.S. military intervention,” Dolbow offered.

This Constitutionally principled position has gained adherents from both sides of the political aisle in Congress, for sometimes very different reasons.  Traditionally liberal Members may object to the resort to war too quickly (or at all) while traditionally conservative Members may object to foreign entanglements initiated by Presidents with little to no public debate.  Both sides seem to agree that debate and clear Constitutional action ultimately best protects the best interests of the United States.

According to Senate rules, a vote on the Yemen war powers resolution must take place on or before March 9.

More research and information may be found by visiting the Committee for Responsible Foreign Policy online, http://responsibleforeignpolicy.org.

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SOURCE Committee for Responsible Foreign Policy

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