Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) that has introduced a bill that would all but take away Trump’s unilateral war-making powers by giving Congress the power to repeal or modify his use of military force against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban.
According to a statement provided to PoliticusUSA from Rep. Schiff’s office, the Authorization for Use Of Military Force would, “sunset the 2001 AUMF and 2002 AUMF immediately and replace them with a single authorization for the use of force against al-Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban. The resolution would sunset in 3 years. It authorizes the President to deploy combat ground troops against the covered entities without geographical restriction; however, it also provides a special mechanism to allow a privileged motion to repeal or modify the authorization in the event the President deploys ground forces in combat. Finally, it would put in place new reporting requirements both to Congress and to the public as to how the authorities are used and against what groups.”
The unilateral power of the president to use military force in the name of fighting terrorism would be taken away and replaced with a process where Congress would have oversight and the ability to repeal the president’s deployment of ground troops.
Rep. Schiff said, “For far too long, Congress has abdicated its constitutional responsibility to authorize military action abroad, effectively ceding the war-making power to the executive branch. More than 15 years later, our operations against groups as diverse as the Taliban in Afghanistan, al Qaeda in Yemen, and ISIS in Syria are authorized under a 60 word authorization passed days after the attacks. As deployments to Iraq and Syria increase, and with complicating factors like the recent cruise missile strike against the Assad regime in response to the use of chemical weapons, Congress cannot stand on the sidelines any longer and must debate and vote on any new war. Congress must demand of this Administration and future Administrations the legal justifications for any military action, and hold them accountable for those actions.”
The new authorization is a stripping away of Trump’s war powers. The Executive Branch has been seizing more power away from the Legislative Branch for decades on the issues of military action and war powers. Schiff’s authorization is not about partisanship. It is the latest development in a Constitutional tug of war that congresses and presidents have been fighting since LBJ, Vietnam, and the erosion of the War Powers Act.
Trump’s behavior and temperament have given congressional advocates for a return to the constitutional balance of power a new sense of urgency.
Make no mistake about it, Democrats and Republicans are worried about Trump having unilateral control of the military, and Rep. Adam Schiff just stepped up to do something about it.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association