War Powers Act of 2017

October 2, 2017

Joint Resolution

Concerning the war powers of Congress and the President

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

Short Title

Section I. This joint resolution may be cited as the “War Powers Act of 2017.”

Purpose and Policy

Sec. 2 (a) It is the purpose of this joint resolution to fulfill the intent of the Framers

of the Constitution of the United States to insure that the president may not initiate military strikes or introduce the United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent hostilities are indicated by the circumstances, without prior authorization by both houses of Congress.

(b) Under the War Clause of the Constitution— Article I, section 8—it is specifically provided that Congress “shall have Power to Declare War,” a provision intended by the Framers of the Constitution, and consistently interpreted by the United States Supreme Court since 1800, to confer upon Congress the sole and exclusive power to authorize the initiation of all military hostilities on behalf of the America people.

(c) The constitutional power of the President as Commander in Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where hostilities are likely, is exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) a specific concurrent resolution, (3) specific statutory authorization, or (4) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possession, or its armed forces.

(d) The initiation of military force by a President without prior and clear authorization from Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under Article II, section 4 of the Constitution.

(e) This joint resolution repeals and replaces previous statutes governing the use of military force, including the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the Authorization to Use Military Force of 2001, and the Iraqi Resolution of 2003.

Reporting

Sec. 4 (a) Whenever United States Armed Forces are introduced into hostilities, the President shall report to Congress every week on the status of such hostilities.

(b) The President shall provide such other information as Congress may request in fulfillment of its constitutional responsibilities with respect to committing the nation to war and to the use of United States Armed Forces abroad.

Congressional Action

Sec. 5. Whenever United States Armed Forces are engaged in hostilities, such forces shall be removed by the President if Congress so directs by concurrent resolution.

Effective Date

Sec. 6. This joint resolution shall take effect on the date of its enactment.

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