War Powers Resolution: After Thirty-Four Years [Updated March 10, 2008]   [open pdf - 409KB]

"This report discusses and assesses the War Powers Resolution, its application since enactment in 1973, providing detailed background on a variety of cases where it was utilized, or issues of its applicability were raised. It will be revised biannually. In the post-Cold War world, Presidents have continued to commit U.S. Armed Forces into potential hostilities, sometimes without a specific authorization from Congress. Thus the War Powers Resolution and its purposes continues to be a potential subject of controversy. On June 7, 1995 the House defeated, by a vote of 217-201, an amendment to repeal the central features of the War Powers Resolution that have been deemed unconstitutional by every President since the law's enactment in 1973. In 1999, after the President committed U.S. military forces to action in Yugoslavia without congressional authorization, Representative Tom Campbell used expedited procedures under the Resolution to force a debate and votes on U.S. military action in Yugoslavia, and later sought, unsuccessfully, through a federal court suit to enforce Presidential compliance with the terms of the War Powers Resolution."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32267
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