Panel Urges Repeal of Vietnam-Era War Powers Law

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Washington (AP) A new study is calling for a repeal of the 1973 war powers resolution, replacing it with a measure that would require U.S. presidents to consult congress before going to war.

The report says the current law has failed to promote cooperation between the executive and legislative branches. The study was drafted by a bipartisan study group chaired by two former secretaries of state, James Baker and Warren Christopher.

Congress' involvement in approving combat operations became a central issue in the Iraq debate last year, when democrats tried to force President Bush to end the war. While Congress had authorized combat in Iraq, democrats say the resolution approved only the
invasion and not a five-year counterinsurgency.

The new proposal would require congress to be consulted on any “significant armed conflict,” such as operations lasting longer than a week.

Baker says the plan isn't eant to resolve constitutional disputes between the White House and congress on who decides whether the nation fights. He says it's aimed at creating “a
Process” to encourage the two branches to consult in a way that is “both practical and true to the spirit of the constitution.”

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