Defense Priorities applauds Congress’ bipartisan effort to reclaim its war powers

March 1, 2018
Contact: Eleanor May

WASHINGTON, DC—Yesterday, Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced S.J.Res.54, a joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.

In response, Defense Priorities Vice President of Public Policy Kurt Couchman issued the following statement:

“Senators Mike Lee and Bernie Sanders should be commended for leading an effort to reclaim Congress’ proper powers. The Constitution vests the authority for declaring war with the people's representatives in Congress, not with president, but the separation of powers hasn't been respected.

“President Obama ordered U.S. forces to assist the Saudi-backed side of the civil war in Yemen without any ‘specific statutory authorization’ and without justifying to the American people that such military actions had a clear connection to core U.S. interests. Despite other actions to restore the rule of law, President Trump has not ended that unauthorized support. Under the fast-track authority in the War Powers Resolution of 1973, S.J.Res.54 would order President Trump to cease these operations unless and until Congress authorizes them.

“The decision to involve U.S. military forces and expend taxpayer funds in armed conflict belongs to Congress alone. This resolution takes an important step toward restoring the wisdom of the framers of the Constitution.”