House Republican Proposal Would Give Future Presidents More Power to Conduct Endless Wars
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
A years-long congressional effort to reign-in a president’s ability to commit U.S. forces to foreign action without first consulting Congress has continually fallen short of its goal. But a new document from the Republican Study Committee says it’s time to make a change.
Critics, however, say the RSC’s changes will only make matters worse.
The proposal, “Strengthening America & Countering Global Threats” says that congressional resolutions passed in 2001 and 2002 giving a president the authorization to use military force (AUMFs) have outlived their initial purposes, and are constitutionally suspect.
However, the group proposes to pass new AUMFs that will give future presidents a blank check to conduct foreign wars as they see fit.
The Cato Institute’s Gene Healy writes that such a broad surrender of congressional authority is “the most ridiculous proposal I’ve ever seen,” noting that under the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs, the United States is currently “engaged in combat operations in some 14 countries, bombing half a dozen of them on a semi‐regular basis.”
Under the RSC proposal, a future president would be able to mount military operations without congressional approval against a State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The list currently includes 67 groups in 30 countries – some of which, Healy notes, have not been active for decades.