War Powers

The White House / Ben Balter (background)

Throughout history, presidents and congresses have jockeyed for control over war powers. Article I of the Constitution grants Congress the exclusive authority to declare war, while Article II names the President as “Commander in Chief” of the army, navy and militia. The jockeying reached a watershed moment of congressional assertiveness with the passage of the 1973 War Powers Act. Since then, however, presidential war-making power has been in a state of near-constant expansion—an expansion only accelerated by overseas counterterrorism actions and recent presidential military actions in Libya and Syria.

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Executive Power

Biden and War Powers

Amidst an ongoing debate over aging AUMFs, how does the president view the war powers? Biden's long tenure in the federal government suggests that while he might claim broad war authority, he will not use major force absent significant congressional support.

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