Lawmakers unveil measure increasing Congress's control of war authorizations

Lawmakers unveil measure increasing Congress's control of war authorizations
© Greg Nash

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is unveiling legislation to increase Congress’s control of war authorizations, arms exports and national emergencies.

Sens. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Democrats ramp up pressure for infrastructure deal amid time crunch Democrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan MORE (D-Conn.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet House GOP stages mask mandate protest MORE (R-Utah) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Bipartisan infrastructure win shows Democrats must continue working across the aisle 'The land is us' — Tribal activist turns from Keystone XL to Line 3 MORE (I-Vt.) on Tuesday introduced the National Security Powers Act.

With the legislation, the senators are looking to define terms that were previously left out of the War Powers Resolution.

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Their bill would add requirements for presidential authorization of military action, require the president to end hostilities if they are not approved by Congress within 20 days and cut off funding if the president does not receive authorization.

Congress would also have to approve certain weapons sales to foreign entities, and allow controversial items to be removed from proposed sales.

Under the measure, Congress would also have to approve national emergencies and renew emergencies after certain time frames. The legislation would also bar the International Emergency Economic Powers Act from being used to impose tariffs. 

“More than ever before, presidents are sending men and women into battle without public debate, and making major policy decisions, like massive arms sales, without congressional input,” Murphy said in a statement.

House Rules Committee Chair Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) is backing similar legislation, Reuters noted.