Should the U.S. Congress Do More to Check the President’s War Powers?

The debate over war powers is nearly as old as the Constitution itself. The governing document grants Congress the power to declare war but gives the executive the power to conduct war as the commander-in-chief. The first significant debate occurred during George Washington’s presidency as Congress and the executive clashed over which branch had the authority to declare U.S. neutrality in foreign wars. In the modern-day, Congress has not officially declared war since 1942 during WWII. Subsequently, constitutional questions ask how much authority the executive has in sending troops into conflict without permission from the legislature. Currently, for example, Congress is considering passing a resolution that would prevent President Trump from taking further military action against Iran unless approved by the legislature.

Those who support Congress doing more to check the president’s war powers have argued that the executive should be limited in how much authority he has concerning foreign policy. This side believes that checks should exist to prevent the executive from abusing war powers.

Those who oppose Congress doing more to check the president’s war powers have argued that doing so will threaten U.S. security. Those who argue on this side may express the belief that the executive needs to be as free as possible to direct troops in order to immediately respond to ever-changing situations in volatile regions of the world.

So, what do you think? Should the U.S. Congress do more to check the president’s war powers? Students can either argue Yes, Congress should do more to check the president’s war powers; No, Congress should not do more to check the president’s war powers; or something in between!

Note: Ideal Think the Vote responses include the following:

-Address the question asked in a thoughtful and meaningful manner

-Use cited facts and constitutional arguments when appropriate to support their answers

-Are expressed in cohesive sentences and is free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors

-They address counter-arguments and opposing concerns in a respectful manner

-They organize their answer in a manner that flows logically and reads clearly

Current Standings:
Yes: 58%
No: 42%
  • Jacob from Kentucky

    Congress should do more to check the executive branch’s authority over military affairs. It is Congress’ constitutional authority to act as a check on the president’s military powers. The congressional representatives should be required to vote and properly represents their constitute’s desires. The legislative branch is a co-equal branch of government and therefore should have the same power and authority in regulating the nation’s military affairs. The president must follow the constitution by advising and consenting with congress regarding affairs that could bring us to war.

    [read less]

    Congress should do more to check the executive branch’s authority over military affairs. It is Congress’ constitutional authority to act as a check on…

    [read more]
    4
  • Anabel from Michigan

    Power to wreak havoc cannot rest on one person in the government. Pivotal decisions such as waging war has to be well deliberated and thought-through, which takes more than one person to do. Therefore, the president’s powers ought to be checked by Congress.

    [read less]

    Power to wreak havoc cannot rest on one person in the government. Pivotal decisions such as waging war has to be well deliberated and thought-through,…

    [read more]
    1
  • Macy from Kentucky

    The United States has sent troops to many countries over the past 78 years without officially declaring war. I think if we have people in another country fighting and potentially killing others it is war. The president should not alone be able to order the killing of peoples, especially out of vengeance. The more minds coming up with ideas and more views would prove what the correct response to an issue should be. In regards to the security of the US and some people’s belief it would be threatened: if an issue is on US soil, it can be immediately responded to without the legislature. Overall, I believe the president’s power needs to be lessened and more individuals should be involved in decision making.

    [read less]

    The United States has sent troops to many countries over the past 78 years without officially declaring war. I think if we have people in another coun…

    [read more]
    1
  • Drew from Kentucky

    Congress should do more to limit the power of the president in war time because one individual was never meant to hold so much power in our democratic system of government. Specifically I think the War Powers Act of 1973 needs to be amended considering under the current act the president could effectively send troops to a foreign nation for an infinite number of 60 day increments with no approval other than his own. I understand the necessity of a law similar to this but like many other executive powers they need to be limited in some way.

    [read less]

    Congress should do more to limit the power of the president in war time because one individual was never meant to hold so much power in our democratic…

    [read more]
    1
  • Casey from Kentucky

    I say yes because I think the people should be more involved in making decisions. It shouldn’t be entirely up to President Trump. Plus, he doesn’t have full knowledge or experience with the military or war and I believe there are some important people that could help him make smarter decisions for our country. Leaving some of these decisions entirely up to one person is a scary thing if you think about it. America would be letting one person decide on what could possibly be our future. This would not only make us look weak to other countries but also potentially hurt America in the long run.

    [read less]

    I say yes because I think the people should be more involved in making decisions. It shouldn’t be entirely up to President Trump. Plus, he doesn’t…

    [read more]
    1
  • Sam from Kentucky

    While I believe that the president has made the right calls so far, the U.S. Congress should monitor continues to monitor the president’s war powers and his decisions on war. The U.S. Congress should check the president’s war powers every now and again to ensure that he is making the right calls when necessary. So far the President has made effective and smart calls. To prevent this issue from getting any bigger the U.S. Congress should make sure going forward that the President is making the right calls and decisions to ensure that not only is our country safe but the American people are safe as well. If Congress closely monitors the President’s war decisions we can ensure that we are making the right moves at the right time, and not making a move that could potentially harm us and grow into a larger problem.

    [read less]

    While I believe that the president has made the right calls so far, the U.S. Congress should monitor continues to monitor the president’s war powers a…

    [read more]
    1
  • Jake from Kentucky

    With President Trump ordering an airstrike against Iran, many people including Congress have thought it best to limit the president’s war powers. No one person should be able to have our country go to war. The president needs people with more reasoning and people that are not biased. With the president having the power that he does, he is capable of killing hundreds of people based on emotion. Limiting his war powers will allow Congress to debate the topic and use reason instead of emotion. One person can act out of emotion easier than hundreds.

    [read less]

    With President Trump ordering an airstrike against Iran, many people including Congress have thought it best to limit the president’s war powers. No o…

    [read more]
    1
  • Emma from Kentucky

    Yes, Congress should do more to check the president’s war power. I strongly feel that no single person should have the ability to make a decision without asking for multiple opinions prior to launching an attack on someone or some place. With Congress monitoring the president’s power, we the people can trust that there is at least one person that we can agree on a specific situation. Now whether our opinion wins or not is not up to us, it’s up to Congress. On the other hand, I also feel that in emergency situations, the president should have an emergency plan already discussed with Congress specifically for any situation, simply to speed up the process and not delay the security and safety of our country. As well as some kind of plan of action for situations of which we cannot prepare for by discussion.

    [read less]

    Yes, Congress should do more to check the president’s war power. I strongly feel that no single person should have the ability to make a decision wi…

    [read more]
    1
  • Zach from Kentucky

    Only Congress should possess the power to declare war on a foreign nation, not the president. With recent situations escalating in Iran, people are beginning to see that the president might actually have the power to indirectly force Congress’ hand to start a war. By shooting missiles toward or sending troops into a foreign nation, it increases the chances for retaliation and a declaration of war from the foreign nation. Consequently, the US would also have to declare war in order to defend its troops and its citizens. Therefore, Congress should limit the president’s war powers to ensure that one man cannot decide to go to war for an entire nation filled with different opinions.

    [read less]

    Only Congress should possess the power to declare war on a foreign nation, not the president. With recent situations escalating in Iran, people are be…

    [read more]
    1
  • Brennan from Kentucky

    Congress should do more to check and diminish the president’s war powers, the President is responsible for our country, but one’s bad judgement could cause devastation. I believe that limiting the powers of the President could help us, remain safer and inline with the Constitution. If he keeps his powers, this could cause another war, causing the uncertainty of the world. But, if limited this could promote peace to all nations, showing that we as a whole can work together and bring the world as a whole once again.

    [read less]

    Congress should do more to check and diminish the president’s war powers, the President is responsible for our country, but one’s bad judgement could …

    [read more]
    1
  • Allison from Kentucky

    Yes, Congress should put more restrictions on the president’s war powers. US presidents have found lope holes in the system that can make them deadly in times of conflict. One unagreed upon military response to unrest in a foreign country can lead to an even bigger conflict the US was not prepared for. When Congress is included in decisions in attacks or assaults, yes it takes longer, but a larger array of opinions on the topic can lead to a better resolution. The president should not be able to start or respond to conflict unless it is the will of the people. Any sudden attack on American territory or trops can be predicted due to American intelligence, technology, and tip-offs from allies in other countries, like in the recent attack on American tropes by Iran. “Personnel received advance warning of the strike several hours before it took place, enabling them to take cover.” (Qiblawi, Damon and Laine CNN). The need for “quick action” has been long gone since the Obama administration.

    [read less]

    Yes, Congress should put more restrictions on the president’s war powers. US presidents have found lope holes in the system that can make them deadly …

    [read more]
    1
  • Katie from Kentucky

    I think that Congress should do more to check the president’s war powers because it is their duty to do so. The United States shouldn’t go to war with another country just because of the president’s opinions, rather it should be a group decision that has been carefully thought through. In the Constitution, it states that Congress’ power is: “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water”(Article 1 section 8). Whereas, the Constitution says that the president is: “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into actual Service of the United States”(Article 2 section 2). Based off of the Constitution, Congress should have the power to declare war, not the president. Although President Trump hasn’t declared war yet, I think it is necessary for Congress to be more involved in a very important decision like this and not allow such a decision to be made by one person.

    [read less]

    I think that Congress should do more to check the president’s war powers because it is their duty to do so. The United States shouldn’t go to war …

    [read more]
    1
  • Laurna from Kentucky

    I think congress should do more to check the president’s war power because it could save the United States from going to war. Personally I feel that President Trump is a hot head and uses his social media sites to intimidate other countries and political leader. Trump also boasts about the United States powerful army and the destruction that countries will face if they try to go against the U.S. The president should be closely watched and negation with others before final decisions are made such as declaration of war before the war has started.

    [read less]

    I think congress should do more to check the president’s war power because it could save the United States from going to war. Personally I feel that P…

    [read more]
    1
  • Colin from Kentucky

    The US needs to maintain the checks and balances between Congress and the President. We saw Obama expand the executive branch’s power and this may upset this fragile balance. While Trump may have acted in defense of the country, we do not want to set a precedent that allows unbridled aggression. War and the use of military force has resounding consequences, both financially and in respect to our diplomatic relations. Therefore we need to be careful and thought out in our approach to military conflict. With all of this said, in order to maintain that balance, our president should be able to act in self defense of our country and we should not cripple his power to do so. Finding the balance is the key to this question.

    [read less]

    The US needs to maintain the checks and balances between Congress and the President. We saw Obama expand the executive branch’s power and this may …

    [read more]
    1
  • Gabriella from New Hampshire

    Sure things were bad with Iraq before but I feel that Trump shouldn’t have the power to make things worse with them. So I do feel that we should limit the presidents’ power on war because things could have gone so much better than they did. Trump bombing the war leader of Iraq was one of the biggest mistakes that he could have possibly made. If we limit the power then we could prevent stuff like this from happening again.

    [read less]

    Sure things were bad with Iraq before but I feel that Trump shouldn’t have the power to make things worse with them. So I do feel that we should limit…

    [read more]
    0
  • Kassee from Virginia

    Congress should make great efforts to review the president’s decisions that he makes regarding war. In the United States, we have a system called checks and balances in which power is divided equally among the three branches of government. In this manner, one branch can stop another branch from putting a law in place or making foreign decisions. Article 1, Section 8, Clauses 11 and 12 state that Congress has the authority to declare war and raise and support for armies. The powers of government should evaluate choices regarding war as a whole and not allow the president to get involved with other nations or going to war without consent. Congress must be aware of the president’s desires for war whether it is bombing Syria, killing a general in Iraq, or whatever the case may be. If the president has complete control over regulating war in other countries, then Congress can not share their own thoughts or speak for the people of the United States.

    [read less]

    Congress should make great efforts to review the president’s decisions that he makes regarding war. In the United States, we have a system called chec…

    [read more]
    0
  • Cira from Virginia

    The president should have more done to check his/her powers on declaring war. A lot of lives are lost during a war, and before the president just decides to declare it, there should be a lot of thought put into. The people dying have families that will be grieving the death of their loved one for many years, and it would be even harder to overcome the death of someone who died in a war that could have been prevented. Furthermore, one person should not be able to declare war by themselves. This should have a process similar to passing a law to make sure that everyone in the Senate, Congress, and House of Representatives agrees on this motion. This should be a quick process, however, because of the dire situation the country may be in.

    [read less]

    The president should have more done to check his/her powers on declaring war. A lot of lives are lost during a war, and before the president just deci…

    [read more]
    0
  • Nicholas from Virginia

    War is the ugly, yet necessary duckling, child of the goose that is government. You cannot have power and territory without war, and vice versa. However, that does not mean we should hop the fence all the way to war at the drop of a pen. We are building up foreign issues more than they need to be, and in the past, this issue has truly taken its toll on the United States. Vietnam is a prime example of our mistakes in foreign relations. Our president is dangerous, and by ten-fold with the power to incite war on “enemies” just because he doesn’t like them, or they made a small mistake, et cetera. Congress should absolutely have the power to take him on, pertaining to this issue. We cannot make the same mistakes as we did in the past, and we cannot forget those mistakes. “Those cannot learn from their history, are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana

    [read less]

    War is the ugly, yet necessary duckling, child of the goose that is government. You cannot have power and territory without war, and vice versa. Howev…

    [read more]
    0
  • Shelby from Virginia

    Congress should be doing more to limit the president’s war powers, because no one person should have the ability to decide whether or not the whole country declares war. Our founding fathers who wrote the Constitution would certainly not be happy with a president who has as much war power as he does, because they warned against a leader with too much power over the people. Before a decision as drastic as taking the lives of other human beings is done, it should have to be voted on by the US Congress. They represent the opinions of the American people better than the president alone, simply because there are so many more of them and they can talk it over as a group in order to come to the right decision for the whole country. However, supporters of the president having ultimate war power may say that war decisions are too time-sensitive to wait for Congress to vote. While I can understand their concern, I firmly believe that any decision that impacts the well-being of the entire nation cannot be solely placed in the hands of the president, so the US Congress must do more to check his war powers.

    [read less]

    Congress should be doing more to limit the president’s war powers, because no one person should have the ability to decide whether or not the whole co…

    [read more]
    0
  • Brooklyn from Iowa

    I believe that the President’s powers should be checked more often than not. The President is very high up in government power. I think that we should take more time and consideration to also choose our president, we need to stop being divided by “Democrats” and “Republicans:. We need to actually do research on the candidates running for president instead of just looking at which party they are apart of. I believe that we need to focus on the president and their past. I believe that war is very dangerous and as a U.S Citizen, I am concerned about the U.S. I am concerned about losing millions of Americans due to war because of our president’s actions. Our lives our in the president’s hands and I do not think that Trump realizes that there is millions of people looking up to him in times of desperate need. The U.S Congress should do more to check the presidents war powers for the U.S Citizens lives. Our lives count on the decisions of Congress.

    [read less]

    I believe that the President’s powers should be checked more often than not. The President is very high up in government power. I think that we should…

    [read more]
    0
  • Destine from Virginia

    I think the President’s powers should be checked more often than not. War is a very dangerous game that we are playing and lots of soldiers are losing their lives over it. Families that have husbands, wives, daughters, sons, fathers, and mothers are at risk of losing them. We are losing millions of Americans due to war. Now if we checked our President powers we would not have this problem. We could have come up with a better solution to solve it. To sum up, what I am saying, the Presiden’s power should be checked regularly.

    [read less]

    I think the President’s powers should be checked more often than not. War is a very dangerous game that we are playing and lots of soldiers are losing…

    [read more]
    0
  • Brooke from Virginia

    Sending U.S. soldiers, firing missiles, and creating combat situations are not things that should be done by one person; War is destructive, dangerous, and costly. The War Powers act limits some of President Trump’s power over combat or war-like situations, however, it doesn’t limit it enough. President Trump and his administration did not alert most of the parties in congress before he sent the drone strike that killed General Suleimani. Because of the decision and lack of information passed to congress, there was a large escalation in conflict in the Middle East. Finally, There should a stronger balance between powers of war for the president and congress, there needs to be an agreed decision on how to solve conflicts.

    [read less]

    Sending U.S. soldiers, firing missiles, and creating combat situations are not things that should be done by one person; War is destructive, dangerous…

    [read more]
    0
  • Jonathan from Virginia

    The US President has one of the most consequential positions of power in the world. They can send nuclear bombs and move the world’s strongest military at will. With this immense power there should be regulations. Just like checks and balances exist for the branches of government, there should be a system set in place for military power. Congress must approve any movement of US troops by means of a special committee that will convene at the desire of the president. Many people are scared of a late response if the country is attacked, but even in a worse case scenario putting all that stress on one man is a very risky thing. Better a large group of individuals agree on a plan of action than one. The president will still be allowed to move troops, but he must not engage with anyone without approval by congress, this also applies to air strikes and drones. If we help limit the powers of war of our president we can help deter a disastrous reaction that would impact our for generations to come.

    [read less]

    The US President has one of the most consequential positions of power in the world. They can send nuclear bombs and move the world’s strongest militar…

    [read more]
    0
  • Erika from Texas

    War can be a catastrophic event that can completely change a country. It can cause many people to die and the world to grow further apart. The decision of war should not be based on one person. Something so huge should not only be based on a single entity, so Congress should do more to check the president’s war power. Congress is officially the only branch that can declare war; however, the president can deploy troops whenever they want. Like in Iran, when Donald Trump decided to kill Soleimani, which caused Iran to grow angry and people to question that there could be war. Grace Segers said that “The House of Representatives delivered a sharp rebuke to President Trump over his use of U.S. military power in the Middle East, approving a measure, relating to the War Powers Resolution of 1983, to restrict his authority to strike Iran without congressional approval.” This means that with the extreme measures that Donald Trump has made, Congress should have the right to restrict what the president can do. Even though in the constitution it says that the President can send troops when they feel best fits, one person should not control something that can cause war and eventually kill tons of innocent people. In conclusion, in order to make the best decisions to help the world become more united while also protecting our country, the U.S. Congress should do more to check the president’s war powers.

    [read less]

    War can be a catastrophic event that can completely change a country. It can cause many people to die and the world to grow further apart. The decisio…

    [read more]
    0
  • Serenity from Texas

    Yes I believe that the congress should do more checks on the president’s war powers because Donald Trump order a drone to kill their top general which was unnecessary which has caused bad tension with America and Iran. This act can possibly cause another WWIII

    [read less]

    Yes I believe that the congress should do more checks on the president’s war powers because Donald Trump order a drone to kill their top general which…

    [read more]
    0
  • David from Alabama

    yes, congress should do more to check the presidents’s war power. the president makes a lot of mistakes and it’s clear that the reason for that is because the congress lets him do whatever he wants and thats not very responsible because they need to think about things more wisely before taking action.for example: recently we are about to go to war with Iran for a unecessary reason that shouldn’t cause war between 2 countries.

    [read less]

    yes, congress should do more to check the presidents’s war power. the president makes a lot of mistakes and it’s clear that the reason for that is be…

    [read more]
    0
  • Harmony from Texas

    Yes, the president is one person. According to USLegal there are fifteen people total involved in the Executive branch. That’s fifteen people who can decide if a country of 372.2 million people can go to war. By having Congress check the power of the president they can decide if a war is really best for the nation and if the actions taken by the president are necessary. For example, they could decide if Trump taking the life of the Iranian general was really called for.

    [read less]

    Yes, the president is one person. According to USLegal there are fifteen people total involved in the Executive branch. That’s fifteen people who ca…

    [read more]
    0
  • Deshun from Texas

    Judging from the latest attacks on an Iranian general leader, the president should definitely have more checks to their power as well as their ability to properly declare and fight in a war.

    [read less]

    Judging from the latest attacks on an Iranian general leader, the president should definitely have more checks to their power as well as their ability…

    [read more]
    0
  • Bugs from Texas

    I believe that the United States Congress should check the President’s power to a further extent as to prevent any President, regardless of political party and beliefs, from becoming more powerful than the legislative or executive branch. i.e. executing orders without the approval or consent from the other two.

    [read less]

    I believe that the United States Congress should check the President’s power to a further extent as to prevent any President, regardless of political …

    [read more]
    0
  • Laney from Kentucky

    War is a dangerous and devastating occurrence, and no one person should have the power to send an entire nation into such an event. While Congress are technically the only ones who can officially declare war, the War Powers Act gives the president to much leeway when it comes to deploying troops to foreign countries. This leeway has allowed for our troops to be deployed to places they have no business being deployed to for far too long periods of time.

    [read less]

    War is a dangerous and devastating occurrence, and no one person should have the power to send an entire nation into such an event. While Congress are…

    [read more]
    0
  • Christopher from Georgia

    According to our Constitution, Congress has the sole power of declaring war. Even though America has been in several major conflicts since 1942, war has not been declared since WWII. Granted, the President is the chief architect of foreign policy and the commander-in-chief, but Congress has been mandated to decide when the United States will go to war. The president’s job is to conduct the war once it has been declared. Furthermore, I will concede the point that the president needs the ability to respond to threats quickly lest our troops be caught with their hands tied; however, this power should only be used in isolated incidences, such as the killing of Bin Laden and Soleimani. The president should not be able to conduct extended operations, such as the Vietnam War and the Iraq War without a Congressional declaration of war. Without limiting executive war powers, the president has the opportunity to become a despot. Over the course of the twentieth century, Congress has relinquished many of its essential roles to the president. Now, it is time for Congress to balance the scales of power and fulfill its Constitutional responsibilities.

    [read less]

    According to our Constitution, Congress has the sole power of declaring war. Even though America has been in several major conflicts since 1942, war h…

    [read more]
    0
  • Aiden from Kentucky

    The United States Congress should do more to check the president’s war powers. Regardless of political party or personal opinions on President Trump, Congress is made up of elected members who represent the interests of all people in the United States. By not allowing Congress’ opinions to be heard, President Trump is doing a disservice to his own country. The people of the United States should have a chance to let their representatives express their voices on matters of war. I believe that the president, at this point, has too much power to control military action. Congress should make the decision on most matters of war, unless the country is under a direct and imminent threat. In this case the president should take action to protect the country quickly, without the need to consult Congress.

    [read less]

    The United States Congress should do more to check the president’s war powers. Regardless of political party or personal opinions on President Trump…

    [read more]
    0
  • jp from Kentucky

    Congress should do more to regulate how the president uses his war powers. This could simply be done requiring the president to have major military action approved buy a small council elected buy congress. This wood allow the president to retain their constitutional right of military power while also stopping them from going in an unofficial war with a country. As in the past presidents have gone to what is essentially a war with another country. Which takes the right of Congress declare war away from them. The us congress need to implement a system of checks and balances dealing with things that might cause war

    [read less]

    Congress should do more to regulate how the president uses his war powers. This could simply be done requiring the president to have major military ac…

    [read more]
    0
  • Joseph from Arizona

    Congress should DO MORE to follow the Constitution and the representatives that we put there should DO MORE to honor the oath that each took to honor and respect the Constitution – the Supreme Law of the Land! For too long we as citizens and voters have turned a blind eye to the blatant disrespect for our Constitution by politicians, bureaucrats and generals. It is pretty simple; Article I, Section 8, Claus 11 – even the liberal Democrat FDR knew that he had to go to Congress to REQUEST that we go to war. It should be noted that that was the LAST war in which the the U.S. was victorious! It is important to remember that the Constitution clearly provides a process for changing or altering the provisions therein – the Amendment process requiring 2/3 of the several States to agree (ratify). A mere “resolution” is not enough to change or alter a provision of the Constitution. And no mere rhetorical blather from the likes of the late Henry Hyde makes an opinion into law! (“There are things in the Constitution that have been overtaken by events, by time. Declaration of war is one of them…There are things no longer relevant to a modern society…Why declare war if you don’t have to?…We are saying to the President, use your judgment…So, to demand that we declare war is to strengthen something to death. You have got a hammerlock on this situation, and it is not called for. Inappropriate, anachronistic, it isn’t done anymore….”) Statements such as Hyde’s are not law – they are treason!

    [read less]

    Congress should DO MORE to follow the Constitution and the representatives that we put there should DO MORE to honor the oath that each took to honor …

    [read more]
    0
  • yolanda from Ohio

    Because He can get us into a war and then you might have world war 3 and we are not ready for that and Donald Trump is very powerful and I think they can take the power away from him because If they don’t he can use the powers to get more information on Iran and then he is going to start something and we might not win.And then people might lose there life for no reason and that’s not fair.People should not be losing there life because of Donald Trump they still have a life to live and I want to leave earth this early i am still a teen and i haven’t lived my whole life yet and i need Donald trump to take that away from me and

    [read less]

    Because He can get us into a war and then you might have world war 3 and we are not ready for that and Donald Trump is very powerful and I think they…

    [read more]
    0
  • Brady from Illinois

    With all that has been happening between the United States and Iran, a reference to the balance of military power in the Constitution must be referenced. Most of Congress’s war powers are outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. “[Congress has the power] to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the United States,” (Article 1, Section 8, U.S. Constitution). The president’s military power is outlined in Article 2, Section 2. “The president shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States,” (Article 2, Section 2, U.S. Constitution). While some may argue that President Trump’s decision was necessary to be executed immediately and if Congress was consulted, the airstrike would have probably been delayed and costed more American lives, we do not know that for sure. I am absolutely supportive of a strike taking out a man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of my fellow Americans. As important as this drone airstrike was, it was not with the approval of the “gang of eight”. While not stated in the Constitution, for years, the president has consulted these leaders of the Legislative Branch before ordering such a plan. For example, in 2011, according to the Boston Globe, President Obama notified the gang of eight before the attack on Osama Bin Laden. This attack was similar but Congress was not notified. The reason that this concerns me is not because of the person who ordered it, but because of what could happen in the future after Donald Trump’s presidency. This turn of events is kind of similar to the abuse of power that was seen in a fictional work about the abuse of democracy: the prequel trilogy of Star Wars. In that trilogy, Chancellor Palpatine uses his many war powers to do things without the consent of the Senate. Then, he accumulates enough power to destroy his enemies and declare himself the emperor. Steny Hoyer, talking about the vote, said, “We must use this tool of congressional power, or by our silence acquiesce to the growth of the imperial presidency,” (CBS News). He explicitly said, “the imperial presidency.” Just like the Republic turning into the Empire! For those who do not understand this Star Wars reference, it can be simply put that the presidency may not exist if power goes unchecked in a nation built on checks and balances.

    [read less]

    With all that has been happening between the United States and Iran, a reference to the balance of military power in the Constitution must be referenc…

    [read more]
    0
  • Aimee from North Carolina

    While it may seem attractive to ensure that war powers are held in the hand of a solitary power able to receive information from experts and make streamlined, decisive choices on the issue, it is to the detriment of our nation’s safety. A Congress with more control over the President’s actions would be able to better debate the advantages and disadvantages of war or other hostile actions. Furthermore, it is simply impossible for one individual to be able to adequately address all of the issues associated with war as opposed to the ability of many individuals to form committees with checks and balances to carefully mediate conflicts and prevent mass panic or minimize the loss of life.

    [read less]

    While it may seem attractive to ensure that war powers are held in the hand of a solitary power able to receive information from experts and make stre…

    [read more]
    0
  • Aaron from Kentucky

    The War Powers Act passed in 1973 is what currently defines the abilities and responsibilities of the president. The War Powers Act allows the President to take any military action for up to 60 days so long as Congress is notified of what actions are being taken within 48 hours. The War Powers Act was passed to help limit the Commander of Chief powers of the President. I believe that the current limitations on the President’s war powers allow the President to maintain his role as Commander in Chief while still allowing Congress to still have the right to declare war. Additionally, any limitations on the current war powers of the President could limit the ability of the United States to protect itself from foreign threats.

    [read less]

    The War Powers Act passed in 1973 is what currently defines the abilities and responsibilities of the president. The War Powers Act allows the Preside…

    [read more]
    8
  • TJ from Kentucky

    In the current environment of the world, conflicts all over seem to pass by every day. The speed information is passed throughout the world has dramatically increased in recent years with the improvement of technology. In this type of environment, swift decisions need to be made in response to the constant change happening all across the world. Terror organizations and militant countries threaten the United States on a daily basis. We need immediate action to counter the constant action of those who threaten and oppress the lives of the innocent. These actions cannot wait for congress to argue about for weeks. Sometimes, these actions only have a small window of a day to make a decision on. There needs to be someone to make immediate action, and as commander in chief, the president has that power. For immediate actions, the president needs to be able to respond before it is too late. Lives are at stake if the United States in unable to respond to foreign threats in the little time available.

    [read less]

    In the current environment of the world, conflicts all over seem to pass by every day. The speed information is passed throughout the world has dramat…

    [read more]
    2
  • Grace from Ohio

    While the sole power to declare war and raise an army lies with Congress, Congress itself pushed hard to pass the War Powers Act of 1973 which gives the president certain powers in committing acts of war. The act states that the president can strike another country as long as they notify Congress within 48 hours of the strike after which they have a 60 day period to act and a 30 day withdrawal period. After this short time period, Congress has the sole power to make decisions about further actions of war. When this act passed the Senate in 1973, President Nixon vetoed the act but Congress made a rare override of a veto to insure it passed into law. After all of this work to ensure the president has some limited war powers, Congress should respect the president’s action even if they do not agree with it and understand the importance of the law as it pertains to the commander in chief being able to act in extreme necessary circumstances.

    [read less]

    While the sole power to declare war and raise an army lies with Congress, Congress itself pushed hard to pass the War Powers Act of 1973 which gives t…

    [read more]
    1
  • Natalie from Connecticut

    The president needs to be able to do what he needs to in order to protect the country that he leads. He may have made some questionable choices in the past but the safety of this country is in his best interest. The house of Congress recently approved war powers resolution to restrict president Trump on Iran, but in the long run, we may lose hundreds of thousands of men and women if we are attacked due to the restrictions set against our president, making him unable to attack first.

    [read less]

    The president needs to be able to do what he needs to in order to protect the country that he leads. He may have made some questionable choices in the…

    [read more]
    0
  • Chase from Texas

    Seeing the current speed and regulation of the U.S. congress, looking into the president’s war powers will take longer than the investigation is worth. I believe that looking into the president’s war powers will take too long, and is not worthy of congress’ “valuable” time that they seem to care about so much. The war powers act also covers this, stating that there is no need for congress’ consent to check to war powers of the president. Instead, the war powers of congress should be checked. On March 20, 2003, the U.S invaded Iraq in response to Saddam Hussein and his terrorist organizations. George W. Bush was the president during this time, and his decisions were led off of the Iraq Resolution in 2002.
    Recently, Iran has been testing their luck with the United States, launching missiles towards a UN based military base on January 7th, 2020. This led president Donald Trump into threatening Iran and giving them the precautions to be careful with their future actions. He stated multiple times that he does not want a war, including the statement “As long as I am President, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.” Although this caused an uproar in the American people, president Trump was simply protecting the American people. In the end, the act of the U.S congress “checking” the president’s power will do no good, and will end in wasting resources and time, just like the impeachment inquiry.

    [read less]

    Seeing the current speed and regulation of the U.S. congress, looking into the president’s war powers will take longer than the investigation is wor…

    [read more]
    0
  • Trevour from Texas

    I think that the U.S. Congress should regularly check the president’s war powersbut not more than what has been done before because of the president we have now there needs to be something or someone that stops him from doing things that he will later regret. He should be able to declare war but have it go through Congress first to see if it is justified and if it threatens national security. In solemani’s case we really don’t know what his intents were when he got assassinated it was said that he had bad intentions but did he really? Where is the evidence to support that claim?

    [read less]

    I think that the U.S. Congress should regularly check the president’s war powersbut not more than what has been done before because of the president…

    [read more]
    0
  • Maia from Kentucky

    I believe that 99% of the time, the more power that is given to the people, the better. Just like Representative Massie I think that the power to go to war should be in the hands of the people. The founding fathers feared a strong centralized government, and as a result they created a system of checks and balances on each branch. One of these checks is between congress and the president on who gets to decide on wars. This topic is a heated discussion that lead up to the war powers act of 1973, which limited the president’s ability to bring the U.S. into an armed conflict. Since the passage of this act, the president is only able to move troops into foriegn countries for a period of 60 days. The problem is that this rule can be abused by the commander in chief as he has no limitations on how many 60 day increments he can move troops. While it is unlikely that the rule would be abused in this way, seeing as it costs a substantial amount of money to move troops in and out, nothing is impossible. The problem with limiting the president’s power presents itself during that other 1% of the time either in a war or some other national crisis, where the country requires immediate action and not a debate between congressmen. This is somewhat where the term executive decision comes from, when one person needs to make a quick choice or a hard choice. The president is the leader of the U.S. and a leader is supposed to be able to make the hard choices and there are times where he needs the power given to him to be able to.

    [read less]

    I believe that 99% of the time, the more power that is given to the people, the better. Just like Representative Massie I think that the power to go t…

    [read more]
    0
  • Sophia from Kentucky

    I believe that Congress should not institute more checks on the president’s war power. We elect the president with full knowledge of his executive abilities, and if we cannot trust our president and his advising staff to make credible decisions then a tighter reign on his powers will do little in the long run. The president has to be able to make split-second decisions with the intent to protect all American people. With the current divisions between Congress and the executive branch, it will be very difficult to deploy our military in a timely manner. The War Powers Act so far has kept us out of large scale wars, which has demonstrated that this system currently protects us. And with all things, the President is never acting alone without advising. I trust our president and his military advisors to make the correct decisions to keep America safe.

    [read less]

    I believe that Congress should not institute more checks on the president’s war power. We elect the president with full knowledge of his executive a…

    [read more]
    0
  • Brady from Kentucky

    Congress should not restrict the president’s power to wage war since it is outlined in the constitution that the President is the Commander in Chief of the military. However, the President should not have full power to declare war on anyone he chooses. The President should adhere to the War Powers Act of 1973 which says that the President has the power to move troops for 60 days to foreign countries. This law passed by Congress itself to give more emergency powers to the President during the tense times of the late years of the Soviet Union. In the end, I believe the President has an adequate and appropriate amount of power to protect the country in times of emergency as well as Congress’s ability to keep his power in check

    [read less]

    Congress should not restrict the president’s power to wage war since it is outlined in the constitution that the President is the Commander in Chief o…

    [read more]
    0
  • Elhadj from Kentucky

    I believe that the president’s war powers should remain the same for its very vital in the case that the United States finds itself in an emergency situation threatening our national security that requires measures to be taken immediately. Yes fighting back will always start the path to war, be that as it may, sitting and doing nothing is basically sending an invitation to our enemies. When the national security of the U.S is being threatened, the president shouldn’t have to wait on a decision from congress to determine whether or not to retaliate against an offense taken against the United States that could’ve possibly resulted in deaths of Americans. This should be the same for other cases where the United States isn’t directly involved. For example, the airstrike President Trump ordered on syria back in 2017 could be argued by others it was a bad decision because it didn’t directly affect the United States. Due to the U.S’s heavy involvement in the Middle East, its embassies, military bases and residents residing in countries found in the Middle East are constantly being threatened and attacked by our country’s enemies, therefore under these certain circumstances, the president should be capable of taking immediate action in response.

    [read less]

    I believe that the president’s war powers should remain the same for its very vital in the case that the United States finds itself in an emergency si…

    [read more]
    0
  • Maddie from Kentucky

    Congress should place some laws on the president’s war powers but he should not be completely restricted from making decisions to defend our country. In emergency situations, the president and his executive officers should be able to take action in order to protect our troops and defend our nation. The Secretary of Defense should be well-suited for the position he has been appointed and will aid the president in an educated response. In contrast, in bigger situations, the president should consult Congress in order to secure national security.

    [read less]

    Congress should place some laws on the president’s war powers but he should not be completely restricted from making decisions to defend our country…

    [read more]
    0
  • Kyle from Kentucky

    We live in a world where a quick and efficient response can save lives. Furthermore, the ability to react to a situation with complete freedom allows the President to act in the best interest of the American people when action needs to be taken. Many times there is only a slim window of opportunity to act and the extra time in which it will take Congress to act results in a lost opportunity. While the President should be held accountable for his actions, he should also be given the possibility to act swiftly for the security of both the American people and people across the globe.

    [read less]

    We live in a world where a quick and efficient response can save lives. Furthermore, the ability to react to a situation with complete freedom allows …

    [read more]
    0
  • Ashley from Kentucky

    NO, U.S. Congress should not check or limit the president’s war powers. If America is in immediate danger and the decision or plan is required to go through the House and then the Senate, that could be time-consuming and cause more uncertainty and danger in our country. The president should have the ability and power to send troops or defensive materials as an executive order in order to protect and defend America. The president has been elected by the people and has smart, competent people (VP, staff, and cabinet) by his side every day so he should be trusted with war power to make the quick, immediate decisions that could save our country.

    [read less]

    NO, U.S. Congress should not check or limit the president’s war powers. If America is in immediate danger and the decision or plan is required to go…

    [read more]
    0
  • Eli from Kentucky

    Congress should not do more to check the president’s war power, because at the bottom line the president is just doing what he believes to be the right thing for the United States. Also, the president has knowledgeable military personnel that he will talk with before making a rash decision that could or could not possibly put our country in harm. Congress takes time to make a decision when there is a problem that needs to be handled fast. Although, like President Trump, the president’s decision could cause a panic with the people, however, there will be no problem because of our sizable military.

    [read less]

    Congress should not do more to check the president’s war power, because at the bottom line the president is just doing what he believes to be the ri…

    [read more]
    0
  • Sarah from Kentucky

    I think that we should not limit the president’s war powers. The president should be able to do what he or she thinks is the right thing to do when needed. If the powers of the president are limited and something bad happens that needs an urgent response, the president should be able to take action to fix the problem. The president was elected into office by the people and should be trusted with the use of the war powers. The people of the United States would not have elected President Trump into office if they didn’t trust him or believe that he would destroy our country by using war powers.

    [read less]

    I think that we should not limit the president’s war powers. The president should be able to do what he or she thinks is the right thing to do when …

    [read more]
    0
  • Grady from Kentucky

    There should be no limiting of the powers of the president. As it now stands, the president can make very important life and death decisions without being stopped by Congress. When looking at our world today, the impact of being able to make a decision quickly and decisively is vital. Many situations, even when looking at the recent actions against Iran, are situations that come and go in a pretty short amount of time. If these quick-thinking decisions are stopped and the process of going through Congress draws the situation out, then the opportunity might already have come and gone. If the president’s actions are limited, then how will he be able to act in these times?

    [read less]

    There should be no limiting of the powers of the president. As it now stands, the president can make very important life and death decisions without b…

    [read more]
    0
  • Nathaniel from Kentucky

    The Congress should not do more to check the President’s war power because it may take too long for Congress to give the “go ahead” and more deaths may be an effect due to late action. If we take the time for Congress to check the President’s call, it allows the enemy to have more time to prepare for war. Information could also be leaked to the public and get out to the enemies. This would also allow them to have more preparation time. While it is a fair argument to limit the war power of the President, we the people should ultimately vote for someone who we think is going to make the right decisions for our country, especially in war related issues.

    [read less]

    The Congress should not do more to check the President’s war power because it may take too long for Congress to give the “go ahead” and more deaths ma…

    [read more]
    0
  • Evan from Kentucky

    Congress should not do more to check the president’s war powers because sometimes the president does not have to ask permission from Congress to send an air strike or do whatever they think is necessary to keep our country safe. If our president has to notify Congress 48 hours before taking action, many things can happen in that time period. The president should have to tell Congress any action he is taking before it happens, but not within a certain time period.

    [read less]

    Congress should not do more to check the president’s war powers because sometimes the president does not have to ask permission from Congress to sen…

    [read more]
    0
  • Christian from Kentucky

    Even though former and present Presidents have pushed their powers for war, you must also consider that Congress has not been willing to put the country in another war since 1942 in World War II. The fact that it has almost been 80 years since Congress could agree on whether or not to send the United States to war puts the citizens safety in danger. The citizens safety relies entirely on our Congress agreeing on a topic and with the current divide between Republicans and Democrats their agreement on an issue in the near future does not seem likely. So the power that the President possesses for war has been keeping the United States safe because otherwise our entire safety is relying upon Senators and Representatives deliberating what is right or not so by limiting the power of the President we the people are putting our faith, trust, and safety in a Congress that has not been able to agree for almost 80 years. The time alone for deliberation can take too long and sometimes we just need to act, otherwise we put our safety in danger of an attack.

    [read less]

    Even though former and present Presidents have pushed their powers for war, you must also consider that Congress has not been willing to put the count…

    [read more]
    0
  • Kylee from Kentucky

    No, I do not believe that the United States Congress should do anymore to the President’s war powers. Although the President can make the decision to commence war without the approval of Congress, his time period of action includes sixty days. After those sixty days, Congress possesses the right to take further action on the war decisions. Furthermore, as a country, we should have trust in our President to take correct decision when it comes to war. Because we voted him in as our president, we take responsibility for the decisions he makes. If Congress took away his war powers and another country attacks our country, we need a leader to make a quick decision for retaliation. However, if Congress acquires the rights to these war decisions, our Congress would never be able to formally agree on one plan of action. In addition, they have not declared war since 1942, and I believe there are too many different beliefs of people to agree on a plan of war.

    [read less]

    No, I do not believe that the United States Congress should do anymore to the President’s war powers. Although the President can make the decision t…

    [read more]
    0
  • Katie from Kentucky

    I believe that many people want to check President Trump’s power because he does not follow their agenda. President Trump does what he thinks is best for the country and our national security. He does this in a timely manner and he works so that he can protect all United States citizens. If Congress tries to limit his power is going to or stopping war then that puts Americans in harm’s way. Congress can barely pass a bill in a timely manner if they hold all the power to go to war then in a crisis, we will not be able to deploy troops fast enough because Congress will not be able to agree on anything. This is why the President needs to have some power outside of Congress in regard to going to war. With a small timeline, we need to act fast in the face of a threat and the best way to do this is through the President with quick decisions and not through Congress who only act so they can be re-elected. Without the fast decisive decisions from the President, many Americans could die because Congress wants more power.

    [read less]

    I believe that many people want to check President Trump’s power because he does not follow their agenda. President Trump does what he thinks is bes…

    [read more]
    0
  • Halee from Kentucky

    The president should have power in a time of circus for the safety of the United States. I’m not saying that the president shouldn’t be watched over just to check that he’s not doing something to harm the people of the US but if he feels the need to use his powers and has a good reason for why he does what he does, then he should be the one to make that call for the US. We the people of the United States, voted for President Trump to run our country and keep us safe. If he can’t do that with the help of Congress then something has to change. Weather that be for power for the president to call as he sees fit or for Congress to keep a better watch on the president so he doesn’t overstep his rule. Congress and the president should work more closely together to make our government as strong as possible, so if the US were to be threatened or even attacked, our government can figure out what is the best decision for the US as a whole.

    [read less]

    The president should have power in a time of circus for the safety of the United States. I’m not saying that the president shouldn’t be watched ov…

    [read more]
    0
  • Dane from Kentucky

    I believe that Congress should not look further in the President’s war powers. The President has his reasons for what he has done and for what pushed his military power. Obviously, there are reasons that he went behind the WAP and Congress, some of which the public may never know. From an outside perspective, Congress appears to want to keep peace for as long as possible, not having declared war in almost 80 years. Whether or not that is a sign of strength or weakness, when enemies are trying to plot something against our troops and country, we need to take action. The President did not just get thrown into office, we the people voted and he came out on top. So whether the idea seems scary that the President could go behind Congress’ back does upset people, he knows what is best to defend and honor this country. Stating this, that does not mean the President should have free reign. Each President should still check with other officials, but in pressing matters he should do what is best for the country.

    [read less]

    I believe that Congress should not look further in the President’s war powers. The President has his reasons for what he has done and for what pushe…

    [read more]
    0
  • Luke from Kentucky

    No because the technology in today’s world is far greater than it was before. I could see in the past why Congress may want to control the President’s War Powers, but today’s warfare has turned into more of a nuclear warfare. Therefore, we need to be decisive so we do not allow our opponent to have the upper hand. I think the President shall consult with his cabinet members and military generals, but it could take a long time before Congress passes the vote. The United States Congress seems to be more conservative when our nation is in times of desperation. We need the President to be able to make decisions and also communicate with his or her team.

    [read less]

    No because the technology in today’s world is far greater than it was before. I could see in the past why Congress may want to control the President’…

    [read more]
    0
  • Jacquelynne from Missouri

    While many people vote that Congress should do more to check the President’s war powers, the President is responsible for our country. We elected him to protect us, to help us, and to inspire us. We elected him because we trust him. The President decides what is best for our country, whether it be starting a war or stopping it. If he believes that the US needs to vote, he will open the vote.
    By doing what he did, President Trump proves he is willing to protect US citizens outside the US, such as, preachers, missionaries, and our troops. He was doing what he had to in order to save and protect our citizens.
    I believe the President is quite capable of doing what’s best for our country. He has raised employment rates. I know that many don’t support our President, but we elected him and we have to trust that he can do what is best for us and for America.

    [read less]

    While many people vote that Congress should do more to check the President’s war powers, the President is responsible for our country. We elected him…

    [read more]
    0
  • David from California

    There is no denying that the technology of today is far different from that of the Founding Fathers’ era. In today’s world war is not a thousand men in bright, pressed, uniforms, standing abreast in an open field. It does not take months to rally troops or plan a counter attack. The United States is no longer at a point where it can endure day, weeks, or months of deliberation during times of war. Indeed, in a age of drone strikes, black operation units, and weapons of mass destruction, quick, decisive action is necessary.
    This use of quick response can be seen quite clearly in both the Bush and Obama administrations, for it was not until the 9/11 attacks that the country truly realized the need for legislation to address the change of the speed of war. The Patriot Act, published in October 2001, allowed surveillance on US citizens. The passing of the bill led many to question the rights ensured by the fourth amendment, especially since all data would be collected by the NSA, putting the data under the sole control of the executive branch. However, it is recognized today as an essential aspect of cyber-security and the war on domestic terror.
    The political landscape of the world has become much more complex, with definitions such as an “act of war” and “hostility” becoming ambiguous. The Obama administration certainly took advantage of this, using the outdated terms to defend the deployment of troops to Libya in 2011, though they are not the first to do so. Both the Korean and Vietnam wars were started without and declaration of war. Also, the more subtle aide offered during times of revolution against regimes is not considered an act of war. It was only by the immediate response to cries of help that the United States can assist nascent democracies, rather than watch them crumble from civil war.
    In short, guiding the world’s largest military through the Gordian’s knot that is international politics requires a confident hand wielding the blade of Alexander, slicing through the problem and ensuring the freedom of all nations. Should we give each member of Congress a handful of rope and tell them to untie it, they will pull until the knot seizes, and they are unable to do anything but to wiggle their rope in avail, wishing it would loosen and praying for a sword.

    [read less]

    There is no denying that the technology of today is far different from that of the Founding Fathers’ era. In today’s world war is not a thousand men i…

    [read more]
    0