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U.S. Congress moves to clip Trump’s wings by claiming war powers

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WASHINGTON: The immediate threat of a U.S.-Iran war may have passed, but tensions between President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress, which are already high on the impeachment issue, are rising relative to the powers war.
After both Tehran and President Trump backed down in an all-out war, it turns out that Iran deliberately avoids killing U.S. personnel and Trump acknowledged that by avoiding punitive retaliation for Iran’s ineffective missile strikes: The House Blanca and the United States lawmakers are passing him off in Washington for who has the authority to declare war.
The U.S. War Powers Act, enacted during the Nixon Presidency, states that the President may send the U.S. Armed Forces to action abroad only by declaration of war by Congress, “authorization “a national emergency created by a U.S. attack, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”
The Act further requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing the armed forces to military action and prohibits the armed forces from staying for more than 60 days, with an additional 30-day withdrawal period , without authorization from Congress for the use of military force (AUMF) or a declaration of war by the United States.
But successive U.S. presidents, including Bill Clinton and George Bush, have seized ambiguous warnings in the law (for example, an attack on the U.S. base abroad could constitute an attack on U.S. possessions) to usurp the war powers that the United States Constitution intended Congress.
Trump has also played fast and loose with the Law, dispatching troops at will and chivalintly suggesting that a tweet is sufficient notice of communication to Congress. Distrusting President Trump’s motive and judgment, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives now aims to reassert its powers.
Indeed, many lawmakers are horrified by Trump’s authorized murder of a general in the service of a sovereign foreign country, even as the president’s supporters are arguing that General Suleimani was a “terrorist” and a “criminal war.”
Amid claims that the president lacked the authority to order such a strike, Trump’s acolytes argue that the president has the right as a result of the “Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Terrorists” Act that began on 18th September 2001, shortly after the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon.
Apparently, it was with this rationalization in mind that Vice President Mike Pence tweeted, after the assassination, that Suleimani “helped on the clandestine journey to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.”
But Democratic lawmakers are not convinced. “President Trump recklessly murdered Qasem Soleimani. She had no evidence of an imminent threat or attack,” said Pramila Jayapal, the Indian-American congresswoman of Washington state.
Although the dangers of an immediate shooting with Iran has passed, the House is scheduled to take over on Thursday a resolution by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, a former CIA analyst and Defense Department officer, calling on the President “to end the use of Forces U.S. Navies to participate in hostilities in or against Iran” unless Congress declares war or self-authorized “specific legal authorization” for the use of the armed forces.
Senate Democrats are also moving a resolution ordering the President to withdraw U.S. forces from hostilities with Iran no later than 30 days after the resolution is enacted in the absence of a declaration of war over the Congress or the approval of a new authorization for the use of military force.
It is not only Democratic lawmakers who are agitated by President Trump’s seemingly reckless alelector toward a confrontation with Iran that began with the scrapping of the Obama-designed nuclear deal with Tehran that supports Europe. Two prominent Republican senators were enraged by the casual way the White House tried to mount harshly on lawmakers, calling an administration briefing on Iran “insulting” “insane” and “unacceptable.”
Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky have indicated that they will support Democrats’ bid to have the president’s war powers.
Although their votes are not enough to overturn the 53-47 majority that the Republican Party has in the Senate, it is the first big rift among Senate Republicans, ridiculed by a nightly comedian as “pasty white men” who have allowed Trump remain in office despite the lack of popular vote.



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