H.R. 125: Congressional Oversight of Afghanistan Agreements Act of 2013

113th Congress, 2013–2015. Text as of Jan 03, 2013 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO and Cato Institute Deepbills

I

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 125

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 3, 2013

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

A BILL

To provide for congressional oversight of United States agreements with the Government of Afghanistan.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Congressional Oversight of Afghanistan Agreements Act of 2013 .

2.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

President Barack Obama has announced an Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, with the goal of concluding a final agreement between the United States and Afghanistan by May 2, 2013.

(2)

The Agreement envisions commitments that directly affect the national security of the United States, including a commitment to assist Afghanistan to deter threats against its sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity.

(3)

The Agreement fails to make clear the future basing structure of United States forces in Afghanistan.

(4)

The Agreement fails to specify the future mission profile of United States forces in Afghanistan, the future number of United States forces deployed to Afghanistan, and the length of deployments for United States forces in Afghanistan.

(5)

The Agreement fails to specify the extent to which United States military personnel and government contractors will be accountable under the laws of Afghanistan.

(6)

Congress is a co-equal branch of government and as such the extension of long-term United States security commitments to Afghanistan that obligates or requires the appropriation of United States funds requires the full participation and consent of Congress.

(7)

Under the Constitution, legislative approval of an international agreement can take the form either of approval of a treaty by two-thirds of the Senate under article II or authorization of the agreement by a simple majority of both houses of Congress under article I.

(8)

Past presidential practice with regard to international agreements other than treaties has been regulated by Department of State guidelines that call for due consideration of the extent to which the agreement involves commitments or risks affecting the nation as a whole, whether the agreement can be given effect without the enactment of subsequent legislation by the Congress, and the preference of the Congress .

3.

Conclusion of bilateral agreement without congressional approval

(a)

Report on justification for denying congressional role in concluding agreement

(1)

In general

Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Legal Advisor to the Secretary of State shall submit to Congress an unclassified report providing the justification for the decision of the President to deny Congress its constitutionally protected role by concluding an agreement on the future of the security relationship between the United States and Afghanistan as an executive agreement.

(2)

Legal analysis of constitutional authority required

The report required under paragraph (1) shall include a legal analysis of the constitutional powers asserted by the President in concluding that such an agreement does not require approval by Congress.

(b)

Sense of congress

It is the sense of Congress that any bilateral agreement between the United States and Afghanistan involving commitments or risks affecting the nation as a whole, including a Bilateral Security Agreement, that is not a treaty approved by two-thirds of the Senate under Article II of the Constitution or authorized by legislation does not have the force of law.

(c)

Prohibition on use of funds To carry out certain agreements

No funds may be authorized or appropriated to carry out any bilateral agreement between the United States and Afghanistan involving commitments or risks affecting the nation as a whole, including a Bilateral Security Agreement, that is not a treaty approved by two-thirds of the Senate under Article II of the Constitution or authorized by legislation passed by both houses of Congress.