Three U.S. senators who have campaigned to clamp down on foreign weapons sales and pare back military action unveiled their broadest effort yet on Tuesday to claw back congressional powers over war from the White House.
The Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war. But that authority has shifted toward the White House in recent years, due partly to the passage of war authorizations that do not expire and presidential pursuits of huge arms sales – seen by policymakers as a source of U.S. jobs and a way to improve international ties.
The “National Security Powers Act” is only the latest effort by lawmakers to control weapons sales and push both Republican and Democratic presidents to consult Congress before getting involved in foreign conflicts.
“This shift in national security power to the president has resulted in endless wars, reckless levels of arms sales and national emergencies that seem to have no termination,” Democratic Senator Chris Murphy told a news conference.
Murphy introduced the legislation with Republican Senator Mike Lee and Independent Bernie Sanders.