United States presidential election, 2008: Debating the War Powers Act

In an op-ed in U.S. News & World Report, Michael Barone wrote on replacing the War Powers Act with the War Powers Consultation Act:

“I tend to be cynical about proposals advanced by bipartisan panels of the great and the good. But I’ll make an exception for the National War Powers Commission sponsored by the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. The commission was chaired by former Secretaries of State James Baker and Warren Christopher and included former Democratic members of Congress Lee Hamilton, John Marsh, and Abner Mikva and former Republican Sen. Slade Gorton (Marsh presumably counts as a Republican, since he served in the Ford White House and was secretary of the Army in the Reagan administration). Other members: Republicans Carla Hills, Edwin Meese, and Brent Scowcroft; Democrats Anne-Marie Slaughter and Strobe Talbott; and retired Adm. J. Paul Reason.

In its admirably brief and well-written report, the commission calls for repealing the War Powers Act of 1973 and replacing it with a War Powers Consultation Act that would require the president to consult with a new bipartisan, bicameral Joint Congressional Consultation Committee.”

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Also in a November 2005 article for the Atlantic Monthly, foreign policy experts Leslie Gelb and Anne-Marie Slaughter argued for an overhaul of the War Powers Act that would give more oversight to Congress than the one proposed on July 8, 2008, by a 12-member commission sponsored by the University of Virginia:

“Much that has gone wrong in Iraq could have been foreseen—and was. But Iraq is only the latest in a long line of ill-considered and ill-planned American military adventures. Time and again in recent decades the United States has made military commitments after little real debate, with hazy goals and no appetite for the inevitable setbacks.”

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