Who has the power to declare war: Congress or the President?
Springfield, OR – 5/12/00 The Constitution (Article I, section 8) grants Congress the power to declare war. However, it also names the President as the Commander in Chief of the armed forces (Article II, section 2.) As a result, the executive and legislative branches have often had conflicts over the power to send troops into hostilities, whether called “war” or not. For example, neither the war in Korea (1950-1953) nor the war in Vietnam (1965-1973) were ever formally declared a “war.” The War Powers Act in 1973 was enacted to promote better cooperation between the President and Congress. It states that the President must consult Congress prior to committing U.S. troops. He must report any troop commitments to Congress within 48 hours of their deployment, and must end any troop deployment if Congress has not formally declared war or given its approval by resolution within 60 days. Under some circumstances, the President may extend that period for an additional 30 days if necessary to