National Security

Lawmakers unveil measure increasing Congress’s control of war authorizations

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
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 Murphy (D-Conn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Bernie Sanders (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.

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.

Tags Bernie Sanders Chris Murphy Mike Lee war authorization

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