Time to Revive Congressional War Powers
January 18, 2017
In spite of campaign promises and repeated calls for reform, President Barack Obama will leave office having expanded the reach of presidential war powers arguably beyond that of any modern predecessor. The first year of President-elect Donald Trump’s term presents a fresh opportunity for Congress to reconsider the appropriate relationship with the executive branch on the use of force. Rather than peering down Pennsylvania Avenue at a legal scholar well-apprised of the constitutional division of war powers, President-elect Trump’s malleable views on the matter and hints of congressional bipartisanship on foreign policy set the stage for reform.
“The important duty of congressional oversight on foreign and defense policy seems rather hollow when the institution seldom votes on the use of military force abroad.”
Photo credit: SGT. HARLEY JELIS/N.Y. Army National Guard/DVIDS