R e p o r t No. 84-22 F
THE WAR POWERS RESOLUTION:
A DECADE OF EXPERIENCE
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E l l e n C. C o l l i e r
S p e c i a l i s t I n U.S. F o r e i g n P o l i c y
Foreign A f f a i r s and National Defense D i v i s i o n
F e b r u a r y 6 , 1984
The Congressional Research Service works exclusively for
the Congress, conducting research, analyzing legislation, and
providing information at the request of committees, Members, and their staffs.
The Service makes such research available, without partisan bias, in many forms including studies, reports, compilations, digests, and background briefings. Upon request, CRS
assists committees in analyzing legislative proposals and
issues, and in assessing the possible effects of these proposals
and their alternatives. The Service's senior specialists and
subject analysts are also available for personal consultations
in their respective fields of expertise.
The War Powers Resolution was passed by Congress to insure a congressional
voice in decisions to send U.S.
armed forces abroad into hostilities or situa-
tions of imminent hostilities.
This report analyzes the provisions of the
Resolution and a decade of experience with it.
THE WAR POWERS RESOLUTION:
BACKGROUND AND ISSUES
Under the Constitution, the war powers are divided between Congress and
Among other relevant grants, Congress has the power to declare
war and raise and support the armed forces (Article I, section 8 ) , while the
President is Commander in Chief (Article 11, section 2).
It is generally
agreed that the Commander in Chief role gives the President power to utilize
the timed forces to repel attacks against the United States, but there has
long been controversy over whether he has the power to send forces into
hostile situations abroad without a declaration of war or other congressional authorization.
During the Vietnam war, when the United States found itself involved for
many years in an undeclared and unpopular war, Congress sought to reassert its
authority to decide when the United States should become involved in a war or
the armed forces utilized in circumstances that might lead to war.
1973, it passed the War Powers Resolution (P.L.
On Nov. 7,
93-148) over the veto of Presi-
The main purpose of the Resolution was to circumscribe the Presi-
dent's authority to use armed forces abroad in hostilities or potential hostilities without a declaration of war or other congressional authorization, yet
provide enough flexibility to permit him to respond to attack or other emergencies.
After ten years, the War Powers Resolution remains controversial.
Members of Congress believe the Resolution has served as a restraint on the
use of armed forces by the President and has given Congress a vehicle for
asserting its war powers, Others have proposed amendments to the Resolution
because they believe it has not been effective in assuring a congressional
voice in commiting U.S.
troops to potential conflicts abroad,
Members of Congress, along with many executive branch officials, contend that
the President needs more flexibility in the conduct of foreign policy and
that the time limitation in the War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional and
A few have suggested it be repealed.
The central issue remains
whether the War Powers Resolution is an effective and appropriate instrument
for assuring that the President and Congress share in decisions to send
U.S. forces into conflict abroad.
This paper examines the provisions of the War Powers Resolution and
the experience with it in its first ten years.
PROVISIONS OF THE W A R POWERS RESOLUTION
Section 1 establishes the title, "The War Powers Resolution."
The law is
frequently referred to as the "War Powers Act," the title of the measure passed
by the Senate.
Although the latter is not technically correct, it does serve
to emphasize that the War Powers Resolution, embodied in a joint resolution
which complies with constitutional requirements for lawmaking, is a law.
Purpose and policz
Section 2 states the Resolution's purpose and policy, with Section 2(a)
citing as the primary purpose to "insure that the collective judgment of both
the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States
Arned Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement
in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and to the continued
use of such forces in hostilities or in such situations."
Section 2(b) points to the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution as the basis for legislation on the war powers.
It provides that "Under
Article I, section 8, of the Constitution it is specifically provided that
Congress shall have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers but also all other powers vested
by the Constitution in the Government of the United States...."
Section 2 ( c ) states the policy that the powers of the President as
Commander in Chief to introduce U.S.
armed forces into situations of hostil-
ities or imminent hostilities "are exercised only pursuant to
a declaration of war,
specific statutory authorization, or
a national emergency created by attack upon the United States,
its territories or possessions, or its arned forces."
Consultation and reporting requirements
Section 3 requires the President to consult with Congress prior to
armed forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities.
consultation provision is discussed in more detail in Part IV of this report.
Section 4 requires the President to report to Congress whenever he introduces U.S.
a m e d forces abroad in certain situations.
Of key importance is
which requires the President to report the introduction of
troops troops "into hostilities or situations where imminent involvement in
hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances," because it triggers
the time limit in section 5(b).
Part 111 of this report discusses further the
Section 5(a) deals with congressional procedures for receipt of a
report under section 4(a)(l).
It provides that if a report is transmitted
during a congressional adjournment, the Speaker of the House and the President
pro tempore of the Senate, when they deem it advisable or if petitioned by at
least 30 percent of the Members of their respective Houses, shall jointly
request the President to convene Congress in order to consider the report and
take appropriate action.
Section S ( b ) was intended to be the main teeth of the War Powers Resolution.
After a report "is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to
whichever is earlier," section 5(b) requires the President to
terminate the use of U.S.
Armed Forces after 60 days,unless Congress (1) has
declared war or authorized the action; (2) has extended the period by law; or
(3) is physically unable to meet as a result of an a m e d attack on the United
The 60 days can be extended for 30 days by the President if he certifies
that "unavoidable military necessity respecting the safety of United States
Armed Forces" requires their continued use in the course of bringing about
requires the President to remove the forces at any time if
Congress so directs by concurrent resolution; the effectiveness of this subsection is uncertain because of the Supreme Court's decision on the legislative
It is discussed in Part 11 of this report.
Sections 6 establishes expedited procedures for congressional considera-
tion of a joint resolution or bill introduced to authorize the use of armed
forces under section 5 (b).
They provide for:
(a) A referral to the House Foreign Affairs or Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, the committee to report one measure not later than 24 calendar days
before the expiration of the 60 day period, unless the relevant House determines
otherwise by a vote.
(b) The reported measure to become the pending business of the relevant
House and be voted on within three calendar days, unless that House determines
otherwise by vote. In the Senate the debate is to be equally divided between
proponents and opponents.
(c) A measure passed by one House to be
of the other House and reported out not later
expiration of the 60 day period, the reported
business of that House and be voted on within
otherwise by a vote.
referred to the relevant committee
than 14 calendar days before the
bill to become the pending
3 calendar days unless determined
(d) Conferees to file a report not later than four calendar days before
the expiration of the 60 day period. If they cannot agree within 48 hours, the
conferees are to report back in disagreement, and such report is to be acted
on by both Houses not later than the expiration of the 60 day period.
Section 7 establishes similar priority procedures for a concurrent resolution to withdraw forces under section 5(c).
In addition to the legislative veto
decision of the Supreme Court, recent legislation has implications on this subsection and is discussed in Part I1 below.
Section 8 sets forth certain interpretations relating to the Resolution.
Section 8(a) states that authority to introduce armed forces is not to
be inferred from any provision of law or treaty unless it specifically authorizes the introduction of armed forces into hostilities or potential hostilities
and states that it is "intended to constitute specific statutory authorization
within the meaning of this joint resolution."
This language was derived from a
Senate measure and was intended to prevent a security treaty or military appropriations legislation from being used as authorization for the introduction of
It was also aimed against using a broad resolution like the Tonkin
Gulf Resolution (P.L.
88-408, approved Aug. 10, 1964; repealed in 1971) to
justify hostilities abroad.
This resolution had stated that the United States
was prepared to take all necessary steps, including use of armed force, to
assist certain nations, and it was cited by Presidents for several years as
congressional authorization for the Vietnam war.
Section 8(b) states that further specific statutory authorization is not
to permit members of United States Armed Forces
to participate jointly with members of the armed
forces of one or more foreign countries in the
headquarters operations of high-level military
commands which were established prior to the date
of enactment of this joint resolution and pursuant
to the United Nations Charter or any treaty
ratified by the United States prior to such date.
This section was added by the Senate to make clear that the resolution did not
forces from participatin~in certain joint military exercises
with allied or friendly organizations or countries.
The conference report
stated that the "high-level" militar~ commands meant the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization, (NATO), the iTorth American Air Defense Command (NORAD)
and the United Nations command ir Korea.
Section 8(c) defines the introduction of armed forces to include the
assignment of armed forces to accompany regular or irregular military forces
of other countries when engaged, or potentially engaged, in hostilities.
The conference report on the War Powers Resolution explained that this
was language modified from a Senate provision requiring specific statutory
authorization for assigning members of the Armed Forces for such purposes.
The report of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on its bill said:
The purpose of this provision is to prevent secret,
unauthorized military support activities and to prevent a
repetition of many of the most controversial and
regrettable actions in Indochina. The ever deepening
ground combat involvement of the United States in South
Vietnam began with the assignment of U.S. "advisersn to
accompany South Vietnamese units on combat patrols; and
in Laos, secretly and without congressional authorization,
U.S. "advisersn were deeply engaged in the war in
northern Laos. 1/
Section 8(d) states that nothing in the Resolution is intended to
alter the constitutional authority of either the Congress or the President.
It also specifies that nothing is to be construed as granting any authority
to introduce troops that would not exist in the absence of the Resolution.
The House report said that this provision was to help insure the constitutionality of the Resolution by making it clear that nothing in it could be
interpreted as changing the powers delegated by the Constitution.
it was to emphasize that the Resolution did not grant the President any new
authority or any freedom of action during the time limits that he did not
Senate Report 93-220, p. 24.
Section 9 is a separability clause, stating that if any provision or its
application is found invalid, the remainder of the Resolution is not to be
EFFECT OF SUPREME COURT DECISION AGAINST LEGISLATIVE VETO
President Nixon in his veto message challenged the constitutionality of
two parts of the War Powers Resolution. 21 He contended that the legislative veto
provision, permitting Congress to direct the withdrawal of troops by concurrent
resolution, was unconstitutional.
He also contended the provision requiring
withdrawal of troops after 60-90 days unless Congress passed legislation
authorizing such use was unconstitutional because it allowed Presidential
powers to lapse without affirmative congressional action.
On June 23, 1983, the Supreme Court supported the first of the Nixon
arguments when in INS v. Chadha, it ruled unconstitutional the legislative
veto provision in section 244 (c)(2)
of the Immigration and Nationality Act. 3 /
Although the case involved the use of a one-House legislative veto, the decision cast doubt on the validity of any legislative veto device that was not
presented to the President for signature.
The Court held that to accomplish
what the House attempted to do in the Chadha case "requires action in conformity
with the express procedures of the Constitution's prescription for legislative
passage by a majority of both Houses and presentment to the President."
On July 6, 1983, the Court sumarily affirmed the decision of the D.C.
of Appeals striking down a provision of the Federal Trade Commission Improvements Act of 1980 that provided for a disapproval by concurrent (two-House)
-2/ Congressional Record, November 7, 1973, p. S20093.
-3/ 103 S. Ct. 2764 (1983).
U.S. Senate v. Federal Trade Commission, 103 S. Ct.
S i n c e s e c t i o n 5 ( c ) p r o v i d e s f o r Congress t o d i r e c t a withdrawal
of t r o o p s by a c o n c u r r e n t r e s o l u t i o n , which does n o t r e q u i r e presentment t o t h e P r e s i d e n t , i t i s c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y s u s p e c t under t h e
r e a s o n i n g a p p l i e d by t h e Court. 5 /
Because t h e War Power R e s o l u t i o n c o n t a i n s a s e p a r a b i l i t y c l a u s e i n
s e c t i o n 9 , most a n a l y s t s t a k e t h e view t h a t t h e remainder of t h e j o i n t
r e s o l u t i o n would n o t be a f f e c t e d .
On J u l y 20, 1983, Deputy Attorney G e n e r a l
Edward Schmults t o l d t h e House F o r e i g n A f f a i r s Committee t h a t " t h e Supreme
C o u r t ' s d e c i s i o n does n o t a f f e c t any of t h e p r o c e d u r a l mechanisms c o n t a i n e d i n
t h e War Powers R e s o l u t i o n o t h e r t h a n t h a t procedure s p e c i f i e d i n s e c t i o n 5 ( c ) ,
which p u r p o r t e d t o a u t h o r i z e Congress e f f e c t i v e l y t o r e c a l l o u r t r o o p s from
abroad by a r e s o l u t i o n n o t p r e s e n t e d t o t h e P r e s i d e n t f o r h i s a p p r o v a l o r
Deputy S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e Kenneth W. Dam s t a t e d t h e same d a y
t h a t w h i l e t h e c o n c u r r e n t r e s o l u t i o n p r o v i s i o n was c l e a r l y u n c o n s t i t u t i o n a l ,
i n h i s view, t h e i s s u e of t h e time limits s e t on P r e s i d e n t i a l u s e of t r o o p s
abroad d i d n o t f a l l w i t h i n t h e scope of t h e Chadha d e c i s i o n .
Congress h a s t a k e n a c t i o n t o f i l l t h e gap l e f t by t h e a p p a r e n t i n v a l i d i t y of t h e c o n c u r r e n t r e s o l u t i o n mechanism f o r t h e withdrawal of t r o o p s .
October 20, 1983, t h e Senate passed an amendment t o t h e S t a t e Department a u t h o r i z a t i o n b i l l (S. 1324) t o amend t h e War Powers R e s o l u t i o n by s u b s t i t u t i n g a
j o i n t r e s o l u t i o n which r e q u i r e s presentment t o t h e P r e s i d e n t f o r t h e c o n c u r r e n t
r e s o l u t i o n i n s e c t i o n 5 ( c ) , and p r o v i d i n g t h a t i t would be handled under t h e
e x p e d i t e d p r o c e d u r e s i n s e c t i o n 7.
The House and S e n a t e c o n f e r e e s agreed n o t
5 / Celada, Raymond. J. E f f e c t of t h e L e g i s l a t i v e Veto Decision on t h e
TWO-~%seD i s a p p r o v a l Mechanism t o Terminate U. S. Involvement i n H o s t i l i t i e s
Pursuant t o U n i l a t e r a l P r e s i d e n t i a l Action. C.R.S. Report, August 24, 1983.
to amend the War Powers Resolution itself, but they did adopt a free standing
provision relating to a joint resolution for the withdrawal of troops.
The measure provided that any joint resolution or bill to require the
removal of U.S. armed forces engaged in hostilities outside the United States
without a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization would be considered in accordance with the procedures of section 601(b) of the International
Security and Arms Export Control Act of 1979, except that it would be amendable.
The measure was agreed to by both Houses. 6/ The priority procedures embraced
by this provision apply in the Senate only.
Handling of such a joint resolu-
tion by the House is apparently left to that Chamber's discretion.
cations of this congressional action are not fully apparent at the moment.
Public Law 98-164, approved Nov. 22, 1983.
The reporting requirements in the War Powers Resolution deserve special
attention because one of them, section 4(a)(l),
of section 5(b).
triggers the time limitation
requires the reporting within 48 hours, in
the absence of a declaration of war or congressional authorization, of the
introduction of U.S.
armed forces "into hostilities or into situations where
imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances."
Apparently because of its connection with the time limit, Presidents have
been reluctant to report under the War Powers Resolution, especially under
has been cited by a President in a report
on only one occasion, the Mayaguez incident.
A controversial issue has become the meaning of "hostilities" and
"situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated
by the circumstances." Some indication of the meaning of this phrase is
given in the House report (A. Rept. 93-287) on its War Powers bill:
The word hostilities was substituted for the phrase
armed conflict during the subcommittee drafting process
because it was considered to be somewhat broader in
scope. In addition to a situation in which fighting
actially has begun, hostilities also encompasses a
state of confrontation in which no shots have been
fired but where there is a clear and present danger of
armed conflict. "Imminent hostilities" denotes a
situation in which there is a clear potential either
for such a state of confrontation or for actual armed
requires the reporting of the introduction of troops "into
the territory, airspace or waters of a foreign nation, while equipped for combat, except for deployments which relate solely to supply, replacement, repair,
or training of such forces."
According to the House report this was to cover
the initial commitment of troops in situations
in which there is no actual fighting but some risk,
however small, of the forces being involved in
hostilities. A report would be required any time
combat military forces were sent to another nation
to alter or preserve the existing political status
quo or to make the U.S. presence felt. Thus, for
example, the dispatch of Marines to Thailand in
1962 and the quarantine of Cuba in the same year
would have required Presidential reports. Reports
would not be required for routine port supply calls,
emergency aid measures, normal training exercises,
and other noncombat military activities. 71
requires the reporting of the introduction of troops "in
numbers which substantially enlarge United States Armed Forces equipped for
combat already located in a foreign nation."
The House report elaborated:
While the word "substantially" designates a flexible
criterion, it is possible to arrive at a common-sense
understanding of the numbers involved. A lOOX increase
in numbers of Marine guards at an embassy
5 to 10
clearly would not be an occasion for a report.
A thousand additional men sent to Europe under present
circumstances does not significantly enlarge the total
U.S. troop strength of about 300,000 already there.
However, the dispatch of 1,000 men to Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba, which now has a complement of 4,000 would mean an
increase of 25%, which is substantial. Under this circumstance, President Kennedy would have been required to
report to Congress in 1962 when he raised the number of
U.S. military advisers in Vietnam from 700 to 16,000. 81
Section 4(b) requires the President to furnish such other information
as Congress may request to fulfill its responsibilities relating to commit-
ting the nation to war.
Section 4(c) requires the President to report to Congress periodically,
and at least every six months, whenever U.S. forces are introduced into hostilities or any other situation in section 4(a).
H. Rept. 93-287, p.7.
Ibid,, 93-257, p. 8.
The objectives of these provisions, the conference report stated,
was to "ensure that the Congress by right and as a matter of law will be
provided with all the information it requires to carry out its constitutional
responsibilities with respect to committing the Nation to war and to the
use of United States Armed Forces abroad." 91
Instances Formally Reported Under the War Powers Resolution
Presidents have submitted reports under the War Powers Resolution on ten
different occasions in the first decade of its existence.
three instances related to evacuations at the end of the Vietnam war and the
Mayaguez incident in 1975, the Iranian hostage rescue attempt in 1980, the
Sinai multinational force and two occasions regarding Lebanon in 1982, and
assistance to Chad and the action in Grenada in 1983.
Brief descriptions of
these incidents follow together with the provision of the War Powers Resolution
and the constitutional or other legislative authority for the action cited in
On April 4, 1975, President Ford reported the use of naval
vessels, helicopters, and marines to transport refugees from Danang and other
seaports to safer areas in Vietnam.
His report mentioned section 4(a)(2)
the War Powers Resolution and said the action was pursuant to the President's
constitutional authority as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive in the
conduct of foreign relations, and pursuant to authorizations under the Foreign
Assistance Act of 1961 for humanitarian assistance to refugees suffering from
the hostilities in South Vietnam.
On April 12, 1975, President Ford reported the use of
ground combat Marines, helicopters, and supporting tactical air elements to
assist with the evacuation of U.S. nationals from Cambodia.
report took note of both section 4 and section 4(a)(2)
and cited as authority
for the action the President's constitutional executive power and authority
as Commander in Chief.
On April 30, 1975, President Ford reported the use of
helicopters, Marines, and fighter aircraft to aid in the evacuation of U.S.
citizens and others from South Vietnam.
The report took note of section 4 and
cited as authority for the action the President's constitutional executive
power and his authority as Commander in Chief.
On May 15, 1975, President Ford reported that he had
ordered U.S. military forces to rescue the crew of and retake the ship Mayaguez
that had been seized by Cambodian naval patrol boats on May 12, that the ship
had been retaken, and that the withdrawal of the forces had been undertaken.
The report took note of section 4(a)(l)
of the War Powers Resolution and cited
as authority the President's executive power and authority as Commander in
On April 26, 1980, President Carter reported the use of
six aircraft and eight helicopters in an unsuccessful attempt of April 24 to
rescue the American hostages in Iran.
Stating the report was submitted
"consistent with the reporting provision" of the War Powers Resolution, he
cited as authority the President's powers as Chief Executive and Commander in
On March 19, 1982, President Reagan reported the deployment
of military personnel and equipment to the Multinational Force and Observers
(SO) in the Sinai to assist in carrying out the August 1981 treaty of peace
between Egypt and Israel.
The force was to patrol a buffer zone in the eastern
Sinai after Israel withdrew its forces.
provided "consistent with section 4(a)(2)
The President said the report was
of the War Powers Resolution."
President Reagan cited as authority for the deployment Public Law 97-132, the
Multinational Force and Observers Participation Resolution, approved December
29, 1981, and his "constitutional authority with respect to the conduct of
foreign relations and as Commander in Chief...."
On August 21, 1982, President Reagan reported the dispatch
of 800 Marines to serve in the multinational force to assist in the withdrawal
of members of the Palestine Liberation force from Lebanon.
cite any specific provision of the War Powers Resolution.
The report did not
As authority for
the action, the President cited his "constitutional authority with respect to
the conduct of foreign relations and as Commander in Chief."
On September 29, 1982, President Reagan reported tfie deploy-
ment of 1,200 Marines to serve in a temporary multinational force to facilitate
the restoration of Lebanese government sovereignty.
He said the report was
being submitted consistent with the War Powers Resolution, but did not mention
a specific section of the Resolution.
He cited as authority "the President's
constitutional authority with respect to the conduct of foreign relations and
as Commander in Chief of the United States armed forces."
The President sent a second report citing section 4 on the use of this
force on August 30, 1983, after the Marines were fired upon and two were killed.
(For further information, including related legislative action, see section
below on congressional invoking of the War Powers Resolution.)
On August 8, 1983, President Reagan reported the deployment
of two AWACS electronic surveillance planes and eight F-15 fighter planes and
ground logistical support forces to Sudan to assist Chad and other friendly
governments helping Chad against Libyan and rebel forces.
He said the report
was being submitted consistent with Section 4 of the War Powers Resolution and
that the deployment was taken under his constitutional authority with respect
to foreign relations and as Commander in Chief.
On August 23, 1983, State
Department spokesman Alan D. Ronberg announced that the planes were being
On October 25, 1983, President Reagan reported that U.S.
Army and Marine personnel had begun landing in Grenada to join collective
security forces of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States in assisting
in the restoration of law and order in Grenada and to facilitate the protection
and evacuation of U.S.
He submitted the report "consistent with the
War Powers Resolution" and cited as authority his "constitutional authority
with respect to the conduct of foreign relations and as Commander-in-Chief of
the United States Armed Forces."
Many in Congress contended that the President's report should have cited
of the War Powers Resolution, which would have triggered the
60-90 day time limitation.
On November 1, 1983, the House supported this
interpretation when it adopted, by a vote of 403-23, H. J. Res. 402 declaring
that the requirements of section 4(a)(l)
had become operative on October 25.
The Senate adopted a similar measure on October 28 by a vote of 64 to 20, but
on November 17 the provision was deleted in the conference report on the debt
limit bill to which it was attached. 10/ On November 17, White House spokesman
Larry Speakes said the Administration had indicated that there was no need for
action as the combat troops would be out within the 60-90 day time period.
Speaker Thomas O'Neill took the position that, whether or not Congress passed
specific legislation, the War Powers Resolution had become operative on
101 U.S. Congress. H. Rept. 98-566 on H. J. Res. 308; Senate amendment
numbered 3. Congressional Record November 17, 1983, p. H10189.
By December 15, 1983, all U.S.
combat troops had been removed from Grenada
but 300 support forces remained.
Instances Not Formally Reported to the Congress
In some instances where armed forces have been used abroad, questions
were raised in Congress because reports were not filed.
Brief uses of military forces
In four unreported cases, the military action was brief and congressional
concern about the lack of a report under the War Powers Resolution was shortlived.
On July 22 and 23, 1974, helicopters from five U.S.
vessels evacuated approximately 500 Americans and foreign nationals from hostilities in Cyprus.
On June 20, 1976, a U.S. Navy landing craft evacuated 263
Americans and Europeans from Lebanon during fighting between Lebanese factions.
An overland convoy evacuation to Damascus had been blocked by hostilities.
In August 1976, two American military personnel who had entered
the demilitarized zone in Korea to cut down a tree were killed by North Korean
soldiers, and additional forces were sent to Korea during the surrounding
period of tension.
Representative Elizabeth Holtzman raised the question of
compliance with the War Powers Resolution at hearings on September 1, 1976.
Administration took the position that it would be an undesirable precedent to
construe the resolution as requiring a report when a "relative handful" of
people had been added to the 41,000 troops already in Korea. 111 The augmenting
forces included a squadron of 20 F-111s and a squadron of 18 F-4s.
11/ U.S. Congress. House Committee on International Relations.
~ e a t h r o fAmerican military personnel in the Korean demilitarized zone.
Sept. 1, 1976. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1976. p. 16.
From May 19 through June 1978, the United States utilized
transport aircraft to provide logistical support for Belgian and French rescue
operations in Zaire.
The President did not submit a report on the operation
under the War Powers Resolution.
In August, the House Foreign Affairs Committee
held hearings on the question of compliance with the War Powers Resolution in
Chairman Clement Zablocki agreed with the Department of State
that the Zaire airlift operation did not fall within the scope of action requir-
ing a report.
Representative Paul Findley, on the other hand, contended that
the operation had placed American servicemen in a situation of "imminent hostilities," and introduced a resolution ( H . Con. Res. 689) requesting the President
to submit such a report. 121 No further action was taken on the resolution.
When are military advisers in imminent hostilities?
Considerable controversy over whether the President was required to report
under the War Powers Resolution has surrounded the sending of U.S. military
advisers to El Salvador.
At the end of February 1981, the Department of State announced the dispatch of 20 additional military advisers to El Salvador to aid its government
against guerilla warfare.
There were already 19 military advisers in El Salva-
dor sent by the Carter Administration.
The Reagan Administration said the
insurgents were organized and armed by Soviet bloc countries, particularly
By March 14 the Administration had authorized a total of 54 advisers,
including experts in intelligence, combat training, helicopter maintenance,
communications, and counterinsurgency.
121 U.S. Congress. House. Committee on International Relations.
~ o n ~ r z s i o n aoversight
of War Powers compliance: Zaire Airlift.
Hearing, August 10, 1978. p. 2.
The President did not report the situation under any provision of the War
A State Department memorandum said a report was not required
because the U.S. personnel were not being introduced into hostilities or situations of imminent hostilities.
A justification for not reporting under section 4(a)(2)
was that the
military personnel being introduced were not equipped for combat.
would, it was maintained, carry only personal sidearms which they were authorized to use only in their own defense or the defense of other Americans.
The State Department held that section 8(c) of the War Powers Resolution
was not intended to require a report when U.S.
military personnel might be
involved in training foreign military personnel if there were no imminent
involvement of U.S.
personnel in hostilities.
In the case of El Salvador, the
memorandum said, U.S. military personnel "will not act as combat advisors, and
will not accompany Salvadoran forces in combat, on operational patrols, or in
any other situation where combat is likely."
The situation immediately raised questions in Congress about the applicability of the War Powers Resolution and legislation was introduced to require
the President to report under the War Powers Resolution.
On May 1, 1981, eleven Members of Congress challenged (Crockett v. Reagan,
558 F. Supp. 893 (D.D.C.
1982)) the President's action on grounds that he had
violated Constitution and the War Powers Resolution by sending the advisers to
Eventually there were 29 co-plaintiffs, but by June 18, 1981, an
equal number of Members (13 Senators and 16 Representatives) filed a motion to
intervene in the suit, contending that a number of legislative measures were
then pending before Congress and that Congress had had ample opportunity to vote
to end military assistance to El Salvador if it had wished.
13/ Congressional Record, Mar.
5, 1981: E901.
On October 4, 1982, U.S.
District Court Judge Joyce Hens Green dismissed
She ruled that Congress, not the court, must resolve the question
of whether the U.S.
forces in El Salvador are involved in a hostile or poten-
tially hostile situation. While there might be situations in which a court
could conclude that U.S.
forces were involved in hostilities, she ruled, the
"subtleties of fact-finding in this situation should be left to the political
branches." She noted that Congress had taken no action to show it believes the
President's decision is subject to the War Powers Resolution.
Crockett filed an appeal on Harch 9, 1983.
As the involvement continued, casualties occurred among the U.S. military
advisers, and reports circulated that the number of military advisers might be
increased, various legislative proposals relating to the War Powers Resolution
and El Salvador were introduced.
One approach taken by these proposals was to
amend the War Powers Resolution to require a specific authorization prior to
the introduction of U.S.
forces into hostilities or combat in El Salvador. 14/
The other approach was to declare that the commitment of U.S. A m e d Forces in
El Salvador necessitated compliance with section 4(a) of the War Powers Resolu-
tion, requiring the President to submit a report. 151
Neither approach was adopted in legislation, however, and on July 26, 1983,
the House rejected an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 2969) that
14/ On March 8, 1982, Senator Robert Byrd introduced the War Powers Resolution Amendments of 1982 (S. 2179) specifically providing that U.S. armed forces
shall not be introduced into El Salvador for combat unless (1) the Congress has
declared war or specifically authorized such use; or (2) such introduction was
necessary to meet a clear and present danger of attack on the United States or
to provide immediate evacuation of U.S. citizens. Similar bills were introduced
in the House, e.g. H.R. 1619 and H.R. 1777 in the 98th Congress.
Res. 87, 97th Congress.
sought to limit the number of active duty military advisers in El Salvador to
55, unless the President reported them under section 4(a)(l)
of the War Powers
When are military exercises more than training?
The need to report military exercises under the War Powers Resolution
became a controversial matter in 1983 in regard to military exercises in
Central America and the Caribbean,
On July 27, 1983, President Reagan explained the planning of two "joint
training exercises" in Central America and the Caribbean.
One would be a
series of ground exercises in Honduras with the combined forces of Honduras
and the United States involving 3,000 to 4,000 U.S. Army and Marine combat
troops; the second would be a series of ocean exercises with the U.S.
The first contingent of U.S. troops for the manuevers called "Big Pine 11"
landed in Honduras on August 8.
The number expected to be involved was
raised to between 5,000 and 6,000 ground troops plus 19 warships and 140
The President did not submit a report under the War Powers Resolution.
He characterized the maneuvers as routine and said the United States had been
regularly conducting joint exercises with Latin American countries since 1965.
Some Members of Congress, on the other hand, contended that the exercises increased the U.S. military involvement in Central America and called for reporting them under the War Powers Resolution.
Other Members of Congress sought other vehicles for maintaining congressional control.
Senator Hart introduced a bill entitled the "War Powers in
Central America Act" which would permit an increase in military involvement in
Congressional Record, July 26, 1983, p. H5623,
Central America only after a joint resolution of Congress or a written request
by the President stating that an increase was necessary to protect the lives of
American citizens or respond to the danger of an attack on the United States. The major congressional efforts centered on placing restrictions on covert
military aid to anti-Communist factions in Nicaragua rather than on seeking
compliance with the War Powers Resolution.
CONSULTATION WITH CONGRESS
One of the ways that the War Powers Resolution sought to assure a
congressional voice in decisions that might involve the United States in war
was by mandating consultation.
Section 3 of the War Powers Resolution
requires the President "in every possible instance" to consult with Congress
before introducing U.S.
Armed Forces into situations of hostilities and
imminent hostilities, and to continue consultations as long as the armed
forces remain in such situations.
Some observers contend that promoting
such consultation is a major purpose of the War Powers Resolution.
Has the executive branch complied with the consultation requirements?
Has consultation been adequate to permit congressional views to be factored
In almost every instance involving the use of armed forces since the
passage of the Resolution, some in Congress have complained about lack
In only one instance, the U.S.
participation in the interna-
tional peacekeeping force in the Sinai that was authorized by Congress, has
consultation appeared clearly adequate to permit a significant congressional
voice in advance of the use of the forces.
Other observers contend that the
executive branch has complied with the consultation requirements.
A number of -
-- in addition to the different instituthe President -- account for the controversy.
ambiguities, loopholes, and problems
tional interests of Congress and
One problem is the occasion when consultation is required.
expressed congressional view is that consultation should occur in any situation
mentioned in the War Powers Resolution.
Yet the War Powers Resolution estab-
lished different criteria for consultation than for reporting.
is required only before introducing armed forces into "hostilities or into
situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by
Reporting is required in these circumstances plus the
additional ones listed in section 4(a)(2)
duction or increase of troops equipped for combat.
necessarily required even though a report may be.
dealing with the introThus, consultation is not
Moreover, consultation is
required only under circumstances that trigger the time limitation, and
Presidents have proved reluctant to acknowledge and report the existence of
A second problem is the meaning of the term consultation.
opinion exist on the timing, nature, and extent of consultation.
branch may count informational briefings as consultations, whereas Members of
Congress may expect consultation to mean that they have an opportunity to express an opinion before the decision is made.
The House report on the measure
in this provision means that a decision is pending on a
problem and that Members of Congress are being asked by the President for their
advice and opinions and, in appropriate circumstances, their approval of action
Consultation does not mean congressional authorization, which can be
given only by the entire Congress through the legislative process. 19/
On the other hand, the seeking of authorization from Congress is perhaps the
highest form of consultation, and the process of obtaining authorization
presumably assures a great deal of consultation.
Congress. H. Rept.
19/ Javits, Jacob, K. Prepared statement. In U.S.
~ o m m i E e eon International Relations. War Powers : A Test of Compliance
Relative to the Danang Sealift, the Evacuation of Phnom Penh, the Evacuation
of Saigon, and the Valaquez Incident. Hearings, May 7 and June 4, 1975,
A third problem involves what constitutes congressional representation
for consultation purposes.
It has been generally recognized that, since there
are 535 Members of Congress, it would be extremely difficult to consult them
all, except by seeking a formal authorization.
The House version specifically
called for consultation between the President and the leadership and appropriate
This was changed to less specific wording in conference, however,
in order to provide some flexibility.
The Record of Consultation Under the War Powers Resolution
In the first four cases reported under the War Powers Resolution, the
executive branch held that it had met the consultation requirement because
the President had directed that Congress be notified prior to the actual commencement of the introduction of armed forces.
Monroe Leigh, Legal Adviser to the Department of State, testified that
in the case of the Danang sealift, the President "advised the members of the
Senate and House leadership that a severe emergency existed in the coastal
communities of South Vietnam and that he was directing American naval transports and contract vessels to assist in the evacuation of refugees from coastal
In the case of the evacuations from Cambodia and Saigon, Mr. Leigh said,
on April 3, 1975, the same day that the President authorized the Ambassador to
evacuate the American staff, he directed that the leaders of the Senate and
House be advised of the general plan of evacuation.
On April 28, the President
201 U.S. Congress. House. Committee on International Relations.
War ~ z e r s : A test of compliance relative to the Danang sealift, the
evacuation of Phnom Penh, the evacuation of Saigon, and the Mayaguez
incident. Hearings, May 7 and June 4, 1975. Washington, U.S. Govt.
Printing Off., 1975. p. 3.
d i r e c t e d t h a t c o n g r e s s i o n a l l e a d e r s be n o t i f i e d t h a t t h e f i n a l p h a s e of t h e
e v a c u a t i o n of S a i g o n would be c a r r i e d o u t by m i l i t a r y f o r c e s w i t h i n t h e n e x t
few h o u r s . 21/
I n t h e Mayaguez c a s e , M r . L e i g h s a i d , 10 Members from t h e House and 11
S e n a t o r s were " c o n t a c t e d r e g a r d i n g t h e m i l i t a r y measures d i r e c t e d by t h e P r e s i d e n t " t o p r e v e n t t h e crew of t h e Mayaguez from b e i n g t r a n s f e r r e d t o t h e Cambo-
d i a n mainland and on t h r e e a d d i t i o n a l o c c a s i o n s a s t h e a c t i o n p r o g r e s s e d . 22/
I n 3 t h e c a s e of t h e I r a n i a n h o s t a g e r e s c u e a t t e m p t , t h e e x e c u t i v e b r a n c h
d e c i d e d t h a t c o n s u l t a t i o n c o u l d e n d a n g e r t h e s u c c e s s of t h e m i s s i o n . S i n c e
t h e War Powers R e s o l u t i o n r e q u i r e s c o n s u l t a t i o n " i n e v e r y p o s s i b l e i n s t a n c e "
t h e r e was d i s a g r e e m e n t among Members of Congress as t o w h e t h e r t h e l a c k of
c o n s u l t a t i o n was a v i o l a t i o n of t h e War Powers R e s o l u t i o n .
After the abortive attempt t o rescue t h e hostages i n I r a n , t h e Senate Foreign
R e l a t i o n s Committee h e l d h e a r i n g s on t h e i n c i d e n t .
I n hearings published
a f t e r t h e h o s t a g e s were r e l e a s e d , Chairman Frank Church s t r e s s e d t h r e e p o i n t s
as g u i d e l i n e s f o r t h e f u t u r e .
F i r s t , c o n s u l t a t i o n r e q u i r e d g i v i n g Congress a n
o p p o r t u n i t y t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e d e c i s i o n making p r o c e s s , n o t j u s t i n f o r m i n g
Congress t h a t a n o p e r a t i o n was underway.
Second, t h e judgment c o u l d n o t b e
made u n i l a t e r a l l y b u t s h o u l d b e made by t h e P r e s i d e n t and Congress.
t h e I r a n i a n h e a r i n g s showed l a c k of agreement on t h e q u e s t i o n of whom i n
Congress s h o u l d be c o n s u l t e d ,
The l e a d e r s h i p of t h e House and S e n a t e ?
The l e a d e r s h i p p l u s t h e l e a d e r s of t h e S e n a t e F o r e i g n R e l a t i o n s Committee and
t h e House F o r e i g n A f f a i r s Committee?
Members of o t h e r committees?
The e n t i r e membership of t h o s e committees?
S e n a t o r Church concluded:
t h a t Congress i t s e l f must decide. "
"These a r e m a t t e r s
I n t h e f i r s t d i s p a t c h of Marines t o Lebanon i n 1982, P r e s i d e n t Reagan
began d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h c o n g r e s s i o n a l l e a d e r s on J u l y 6 a f t e r t h e p l a n had been
p u b l i c l y announced, and a f t e r l e a k s i n t h e I s r a e l i p r e s s i n d i c a t e d t h a t h e had
approved t h e plan on J u l y 2.
On t h e second M u l t i n a t i o n a l F o r c e i n Lebanon
t h e r e was a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount of n e g o t i a t i o n between t h e e x e c u t i v e branch
and Congress t h a t e v e n t u a l l y l e d t o l e g i s l a t i o n a u t h o r i z i n g U.S.
f o r e i g h t e e n months, but most of i t occurred a f t e r t h e d e c i s i o n t o p a r t i c i p a t e
had been made and t h e Marines were i n Lebanon.
I n t h e 1983 a c t i o n i n Grenada, P r e s i d e n t Reagan m e t w i t h s e v e r a l cong r e s s i o n a l l e a d e r s a t 8 p.m.
on October 24. 261
o r d e r i n g t h e l a n d i n g had been s i g n e d a t 6 p.m.,
t h a t began a t 5:30 a.m.,
T h i s was a f t e r t h e d i r e c t i v e
but b e f o r e t h e a c t u a l i n v a s i o n
Senate. Committee on F o r e i g n R e l a t i o n s . The
s i t u a z o n i n I r a n . Hearing, 9 6 t h Congress, 2d s e s s i o n . May 8, 1980.
Washington, U.S. Govt. P r i n t . Off., 1980. p. iii.
241 Oberdorf e r , Don and John M. Goshko.
~ o s t , ? u l ~ 7 , 1982, p. 1.
251 Gwetzman, Bernard. U.S.
~ i m e s 7 s e ~ 21,
t . 1982, p. 1.
To Send Back Marines t o B i e r u t .
261 U.S. D e c l a r e s Goal i n t o P r o t e c t Americans and R e s t o r e Order.
washington P o s t , Oct. 26, 1983. p. A7.
CONGRESS INVOKES THE WAR POWERS RESOLUTION
The War Powers Resolution faced perhaps its greatest test to date when
Marines sent to participate in a Multinational Force in Lebanon in 1982 became
the targets of hostile fire in August 1983.
During this period President
Reagan filed 3 reports under the War Powers Resolution, but he did not report
under section 4(a)(l)
that the forces were being introduced into hostilities
or imminent hostilities, thus triggering the 60-90 day time limit.
On September 29, 1983, Congress passed the Multinational Force in Lebanon
Resolution determining that the requirements of section 4(a)(l)
of the War
Powers Resolution became operative on August 29, 1983. 27/ In the same resolution,
Congress authorized the continued participation of the Marines in the Multinational Force for 18 months.
and the President.
The resolution was a compromise between Congress
Congress obtained the President's signature on legislation
invoking and thus implicitly recognizing the application of the War Powers
Resolution for the first time, but the price for this concession was a congressional authorization for the U.S.
troops to remain in Lebanon for 18 months.
The events leading to the compromise began on July 6, 1982, when President
Reagan announced he had agreed to contribute a small contingent of U.S.
to a multinational force for temporary peacekeeping in Lebanon.
That same day
the late Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Clement Zablocki
wrote President Reagan expressing concern that if such a force were sent, the
United States would be introducing forces into imminent hostilities and a
report under section 4(a)(l)
would be required.
98-119, approved Oct. 12, 1983.
However, when the forces
began to land on August 25, President Reagan did not cite section 4(a)(l)
said the agreement with Lebanon ruled out any combat responsibilities.
overseeing the departure of the Palestine Liberation Organization force, the
Marines in the first Multinational Force left Lebanon on September 10, 1982.
The second dispatch of Marines to Lebanon began on September 20, 1982.
President Reagan announced that the United States, France, and Italy had
agreed to form a new multinational force to return to Lebanon for a limited
period of tine to help maintain order until the lawful authorities in Lebanon
could discharge those duties.
The action followed three events that took
place after the withdrawal of the first group of Marines:
of President-elect Bashir Gemayel, the entry of Israeli forces into West Beirut,
and the massacre of Palestinian civilians by Lebanese Christian militiamen.
On September 29, 1982, President Reagan submitted a report that 1,200
Marines had begun to arrive in Beirut, but again he did not cite section 4(a)(l),
saying the American force would not engage in combat.
As a result of incidents
in which Marines were killed or wounded, there was again controversy in Congress
on whether the President's report should have been filed under section 4(a)(l),
but Congress did not pass any legislation on the subject.
On November 28,
1982, the end of the sixty day period following their introduction, the Marines
were still in Lebanon.
Nevertheless, Congress passed the Lebanon Emergency Assistance Act of
1983 requiring statutory authorization for any substantial expansion in the
number or role in Lebanon of U.S.
It also included Section 4(b)
Nothing in this section is intended to modify, limit,
or suspend any of the standards and procedures prescribed
by the War Powers Resolution of 1983. 28/
P.L. 98-43, approved June 27, 1983.
President Reagan reported on the Lebanon situation for the third time
on August 30, but still not citing section 4(a)(l),
after fighting broke out
between various factions in Lebanon and the Marines were fired upon and two
Marines were killed.
The level of fighting heightened.
On September 1, Presi-
dent Reagan ordered a naval task force including 2,000 Marines, fighter planes,
and artillery to the shores of Lebanon.
On September 12, President Reagan
authorized the marines in Beirut to call in air strikes against forces shelling
On September 13, the Administration announced that defense of
the Marines could include the use of U.S.
airpower and artillery to assist
other members of the multinational force or the Lebanese armed forces in certain
As the Marine casualties increased and the action enlarged, there were
more calls in Congress for invocation of the'War Powers Resolution.
Kembers of Congress said the situation had changed since the President's first
report and introduced legislation that took various approaches.
Res. 159 effectively stating that the time limit specified in
the War Powers Resolution had begun on August 31, 1983, and authorizing the
forces to remain in Lebanon for a period of 120 days after the expiration of
the 60-day period.
Representative Downey introduced H.J.Res.
the President to report under section 4(a)(l)
of the War Powers Resolution.
Senator Robert Byrd introduced S.J. Res. 163 finding that section 4(a)(l)
the war powers resolution applies to the present circumstances in Lebanon.
The House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to the continuing
resolution for fiscal year 1984, sponsored by Rep. Clarence Long, providing
that after 60 days funds could not be "obligated or expended for peacekeeping
activities in Lebanon by United States Armed Forces" unless the President had
submitted a report under section 4(a)(l)
of the War Powers Resolution.
On September 20, congressional leaders and President Reagan agreed on a
compromise resolution invoking section 4(a)(l)
and authorizing the Marines to
remain for 18 months.
The resolution became the first legislation to be handled under the expedited procedures of the War Powers Resolution.
On September 27, the House
Rules Committee reported the resolution providing for consideration under a
rule permitting two hours of general debate with only three specified amendments
On September 28, the House passed H.J.
Res. 364 by a vote of 270 to
The House rejected the amendment relating to a cutoff of funds unless
the President invoked section 4(a)(l)
of the War Powers Resolution.
After three days of debate, on September 29, the Senate passed S.J. Res. 159
by a vote of 54 to 46.
The Senate rejected an amendment by Senator Byrd to
require the President to submit to Congress the report required under section
of the War Powers Resolution.
Among other amendments rejected were
ones designed to shorten the authorized period of participation and to clarify
the purpose of the mission.
The House accepted the Senate bill by a vote of 253 to 156.
the resolution contained four occurrences that would terminate the authorization before eighteen months:
the withdrawal of all foreign forces from
Lebanon, unless the President certified continued U.S.
participation was required
to accomplish the purposes specified in the September 25, 1982, exchange of
letters providing for the establishment of the Multinational Force In Lebanon;
(2) the assumption by the United Nations or the Government of Lebanon of the
responsibilities of the Multinational Force; (3) the implementation of other
effective security arrangements; or (4) the withdrawal of all other countries
from participation in the Multinational Force.
When he signed the resolution on October 13, 1983, President Reagan
stated that Congress had made a number of findings, determinations, and
assertions in the bill, which, while it was appropriate for Congress to
make, he did not necessarily agree with.
He used as an example the
congressional determination that the requirements of section 4(a)(l)
operative on August 29, 1983, and said, "I would note that the iaitiation of
isolated or infrequent acts of violence against United States armed forces
does not necessarily constitute actual or imminent involvement in hostilities,
even if casualties to those forces result.
I think it reasonable to recognize
the inherent risk and imprudence of setting any precise formula for making
In addition, he said:
Nor should my signing be viewed as any acknowledgment that
the President's constitutional authority can be impermissibly
infringed by statute, that congressional authorization would be
required if and when the period specified in section 5(b) of the
War Powers Resolution might be deemed to have been triggered and
the period had expired or that section 6 of the Multinational
Force in Lebanon Resolution may be interpreted to revise the
President's constitutional authority to deploy United States
armed forces. 301
New York Times, October 13, 1983.
301 Ibid. Section 6 of the Multinational Force in Lebanon Resolution
authoxzes participation for eighteen months and provides for earlier termination in certain circumstances.
The first decade of experience with the War Powers Resolution has been
Controversy continues over its effectiveness and appropriateness as a
vehicle for maintaining a congressional role in the use of armed forces in
One view is that War Powers Resolution has been effective in moderating
Presidents' responses to crisis situations because of their awareness that
certain actions might invoke various provisions in the War Powers Resolution.
Presidents have acknowledged the resolution by reporting ten separate uses of
armed forces abroad.
Congress, in passing the Multinational Force in Lebanon
Resolution, demonstrated that it can utilize the War Powers Resolution to
assert itself in the use of forces abroad.
Moreover, even though legislation
invoking the resolution was not finally adopted, the threat appeared helpful
in getting U.S.
forces out of Grenada.
A contrary view is that the War Powers Resolution is not accomplishing
In this view, Presidents have continued to introduce U.S.
armed forces into hostilities without consulting Congress and without
congressional authorization, and this has been obscured by emphasis on the
reporting requirements and time limitation provisions.
on only one occasion -- Mayaguez
They have cited
-- and never in a situation
that has been likely to continue beyond 60 or 90 days.
With the provision
permitting Congress to withdraw troops by concurrent resolution under a cloud
because of the Chadha decision, such a decision would now require legislation
that would have to be signed by the President or passed over his veto.
Some supporters of the resolution have proposed amendments to strengthen
the War Powers Resolution, although others believe that opening the resolution
to amendments might result in its weakening or repeal.
I n 1977, S e n a t o r E a g l e t o n proposed t h a t t h e Wsr Powers R e s o l u t i o n r e t u r n
t o t h e o r i g i n a l language of t h e v e r s i o n passed by t h e S e n a t e , r e q u i r i n g p r i o r
c o n g r e s s i o n a l a u t h o r i z a t i o n f o r t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n of f o r c e s i n t o c o n f l i c t abroad
e x c e p t t o respond t o a n armed a t t a c k a g a i n s t t h e United S t a t e s o r i t s f o r c e s
o r t o p r o t e c t U.S.
c i t i z e n s w h i l e e v a c u a t i n g them.
T h i s amendment would e l i m i n -
a t e t h e concept t h a t t h e P r e s i d e n t h a s 60 t o 90 d a y s i n which h e can m i l i t a r i l y
a c t without authorization.
On t h e o t h e r hand, t h e House o r i g i n a l l y opposed
t h i s v e r s i o n i n t h e b e l i e f t h a t such language would p r o v i d e a b l a n k e t a u t h o r i z a t i o n t o r e s c u e American c i t i z e n s abroad t h a t might be abused, y e t t h a t i t
might n o t p r o v i d e f l e x i b i l i t y i n o t h e r c i r c u m s t a n c e s .
On September 29, 1983,
a f t e r t h e passage of t h e M u l t i n a t i o n a l Force i n Lebanon R e s o l u t i o n , S e n a t o r s
C r a n s t o n , E a g l e t o n , and S t e n n i s i n t r o d u c e d s u c h a n amendment a g a i n . 31/
Other proposed amendments have focused on improving c o n s u l t a t i o n under
A f t e r t h e Mayaguez c r i s i s S e n a t o r Thomas E a g l e t o n and Repre-
s e n t a t i v e John F. S e i b e r l i n g i n t r o d u c e d amendments t h a t c a l l e d f o r t h e P r e s i d e n t t o s e e k t h e " a d v i c e and c o u n s e l n of Congress b e f o r e t a k i n g a n a c t i o n t h a t
f i r m l y committed t h e United S t a t e s t o h o s t i l i t i e s .
The amendments s p e c i f i e d
t h a t c o n s u l t a t i o n s h o u l d i n c l u d e but not be l i m i t e d t o t h e S e n a t e and House
l e a d e r s h i p and t h e r a n k i n g and m i n o r i t y members of t h e f o r e i g n p o l i c y and
armed s e r v i c e s c o m i t t e e s . 32/
Another p r o p o s a l would a t t e m p t t o improve c o n s u l t a t i o n by broadening
t h e i n s t a n c e s i n which t h e P r e s i d e n t i s r e q u i r e d t o c o n s u l t t o c o v e r a l l
s i t u a t i o n s i n which a P r e s i d e n t i s r e q u i r e d t o r e p o r t , r a t h e r t h a n o n l y cfrcums t a n c e s t h a t invoke t h e t i m e l i m i t a t i o n , as i s now t h e c a s e . =/
9 8 t h Cong.,
9 4 t h Congress, B.R.
7594 and S. 1790.
33/ S t r e n g t h e n i n g E x e c u t i v e - L e g i s l a t i v e C o n s u l t a t i o n on F o r e i g n P o l i c y .
~ o r e iA
z f f a i r s Committee P r i n t , October 1983, p. 67.
On the issue of appropriateness, Congress has demonstrated continued
support for the War Powers Resolution on various occasions in addition to the
votes on Lebanon and Grenada.
When considering the establishment of the Rapid
Deployment Force, the Senate adopted an amendment stating the sense of the
Congress "that the provisions of the War Powers Resolution be strictly adhered
to and that the congressional consultation process specified by such Resolution
be utilized in a meaningful manner." 341 On August 11, 1982, the Senate adopted
an amendment by Senator Bumpers to the supplemental appropriations bill, stating
that the Symms amendment it had adopted regarding Cuba did "not constitute the
statutory authorization for introduction of United States Armed Forces contem-
plated by the War Powers Resolution." 351
Some members, however, believe that the War Powers Resolution is an
inappropriate instrument that restricts the President's effectiveness in foreign
On October 31, 1983, Senator Barry Goldwater introduced S. 2030 to
repeal the War Powers Resolution.
In his view, the basic premise of the War
Powers Resolution was wrong because in it Congress attempted to assume the
controlling power over the use and deployment of U.S.
military forces and this
was a responsibility of the President. 361
Section 102 of P.L. 96-533, approved Dec. 16, 1980.
351 The Symms amendment reiterated the 1962 Cuban resolution and expressed
determination to prevent by whatever means necessary the extension by Cuba of
terrorism or aggression in the Western Hemisphere. P.L. 97-257, approved
Sept. 10, 1982.
361 Congressional Record, July 12, 1983, p. S9670.
Craig, Barbara Hinkson. The power to make war: Congress' search
for an effective role. Journal of policy analysis and
management, v. 1, spring 1982: 317-332.
Emerson, J. Terry. The War Powers Resolution tested: the President's
independent defense power. Notre Dame lawyer, v. 51, Dec.
Franck, Thomas M. After the fall: the new procedural framework
for congressional control over the war power. American
journal of international law, v. 71, Oct. 1977: 605-641.
Glennon, Michael J. Strengthening the War Powers Resolution: the
case for purse-strings restrictions. Minnesota law review,
v. 60, Nov. 1975: 1-43.
Highsmith, Newel1 L. Policing executive adventurism:
congressional oversight of military and paramilitary
operations. Harvard journal on legislation, v. 19,
summer 1982, 327-392.
Holt, Pat M. The War Powers Resolution: the role of Congress in
U.S. armed intervention. Washington, American Enterprise
Institute for Public Policy Research [c1978]. 48 p.
Reveley, W. Taylor. War powers of the President and Congress,
Charlottesville, University of Virginia press, 1981. 394 p.
Spong, William B., Jr. The War Powers Resolution revisited:
historic accomplishment or surrender? William and Mary law
review, v. 16, summer 1975: 823-882.
Turner, Robert F. The War Powers Resolution: its implementation
in theory and practice. Philadelphia, Foreign Policy Research
Institute. 1983. 147 p.
Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations.
War Powers Resolution. Hearing, 98th Congress, 1st session.
Sept. 21, 1983. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1975.
Markup: War Powers Resolution. 98th Congress, 1st
session. Sept. 23, 1983. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print.
Off., 1983. 76 p.
Multinational Force in Lebanon. Report to accompany
S.J.Res. 159. S.Rept. 98-242. Sept. 26, 1983. Washington,
U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1983. 34 p.
Congress. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs. Grenada War
Powers: full compliance reporting and implementation. Markup
on H.S. Res. 402. Oct. 27, 1983. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print.
Off., 1983. 40 p.
----- The War Powers Resolution:
a special study, by John H. Sullivan.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1982. 291 p.
At head of title: 97th Congress, 1st session. Committee
Congress. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Subcommittee on International Security and Scientific Affairs.
The War Powers Resolution; relevant documents, correspondence,
reports. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., December 1983. 87 p.
Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service. War Powers
Resolution: Presidential compliance. [by Ellen C. Collier]
Issue brief 81050. Periodically updated.