War Powers Resolution: Presidential Compliance [March 20, 2002]   [open pdf - 102KB]

"Two separate but closely related issues confront Congress each time the President introduces armed forces into a situation abroad that conceivably could lead to their involvement in hostilities. One issue concerns the division of war powers between the President and Congress, whether the use of armed forces falls within the purview of the congressional power to declare war and the War Powers Resolution. The other issue is whether Congress concurs in the wisdom of the action. This issue brief does not deal with the substantive merits of using armed forces in specific cases, but rather with the congressional authorization for the action and the application and effectiveness of the War Powers Resolution. […] More recently, war powers have been at issue in former Yugoslavia/ Bosnia/Kosovo, Iraq, Haiti, and in responding to terrorist attacks against the U.S. After combat operations against Iraqi forces ended on February 28, 1991, the use of force to obtain compliance with U.N. resolutions remains an issue. A longer-term issue is whether the War Powers Resolution is an appropriate and effective means of assuring congressional participation in actions that might get the United States involved in war. Some observers contend that the War Powers Resolution has not significantly increased congressional participation, while others emphasize that it has promoted consultation and served as leverage. Proposals have been made to strengthen, change, or repeal the resolution. None have been enacted to date."

Report Number:
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB81050
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