Sending Office: Honorable Peter A. DeFazio
Cosponsors: Reps. Barragan, Cicilline, Cleaver, Cohen, Jackson Lee, Lee, Raskin
In the current volatile international climate where President Trump continues to escalate tensions around the globe, the time to reassert Congress’ constitutional role in our national security has never been more pressing.
Most recently, President Trump threatened to meet North Korea’s aggression with “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” raising the specter of nuclear war and a strike on U.S. soil. While the Trump Administration appears focused on a new, aggressive
strategy, North Korea issued an ominous response to the president, stating that “sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him.”
Article I Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war, and the 1973 War Powers Resolution requires the president to report to Congress within 48 hours of introducing U.S. Armed Forces into hostilities if there has not been
a formal declaration of war. Under the War Powers Resolution, forces must be withdrawn in 60-90 days unless Congress declares war or specifically authorizes continued military involvement.
For too long the office of the president has usurped Congress’ responsibility to approve military engagement with our adversaries. As a co-equal branch of the federal government, the president must come to Congress to seek authorization for the use of military
force, against North Korea or any other adversary. It is imperative that Congress reassert its power to declare war granted by the Constitution.
I urge you to become a cosponsor of the War Powers Amendments of 2017. My legislation would establish that U.S. Armed Forces may be introduced into hostilities by the president only pursuant to a declaration of war or specific statutory
authorization from Congress. It also requires the president to consult with Congress prior to initiating military action and report to Congress after introducing military forces into hostilities. Additionally, this legislation reaffirms that the president
must withdraw forces from hostilities within 60 days unless Congress has provided explicit authorization. My legislation also sets out procedures for the House and Senate to expedite consideration of authorization of military force resolutions.
Finally, the War Powers Amendments would maintain the president’s authority to act in the case of an immediate armed attack or to forestall the direct and imminent threat of such an attack to the territory and possessions of the United States, its troops,
or its citizens overseas.
Congress must reclaim its constitutionally-affirmed war powers responsibilities from the executive branch. I urge you to defend the Constitution of the United States by becoming a cosponsor of the War Powers Amendments of 2017.
To sign on, or for additional information, please contact James Huddleston in Congressman DeFazio’s office at
Member of Congress
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