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Omar and Chris' Vietnam War Site

War Powers Act
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The War Powers Act (Nov. 7 1973) was a law preserving the balance of powers between the president and Congress in declaring war. The act requires the president to inform Congress within forty-eight hours of military action in a hostile area. Forces must be removed within sixty to ninety days unless Congress approves of the action or declares war. The resolution, prompted by the aggresive actions of President Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard nixon without Congressional approval or a declaration of war during the Vietnam war, was passed over Nixon's veto.

Every president to date has declared the War Powers Resolution to be unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court has struck down the 'legislative veto' embodied in Section 5 of the Resolution in the case INS v. Chadha (1983). However, in every instance since the act was passed, the President has requested and received authorization for the use of force (though not a formal declaration of war) consistent with the provisions of the resolution. The reports to Congress required of the President have been drafted to state that they are "consistent with" the War Powers Resolution rather than "pursuant to" so as to take into account the Presidential position that the Resolution is unconsitutional.

The intended purpose of the act was to serve as a check on the power of the President to commit the United States to military action by exercising the constitutional authority of Congress to declare war under Article One. Many constitutional scholars have questioned the usefulness of the resolution, pointing out that Congress has tended to defer to the Executive when conducting war.



This picture represents the Congress as being at the top during the Vietnam war, as it had enough of presidents avoiding Congress when making war decisions, and attempting to preserve peace now presidents must inform Congress before invading a country.