H. R. 125
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 3, 2013
Mr. Jones introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
To provide for congressional oversight of United States agreements with the Government of Afghanistan.
This Act may be cited as the
Congressional Oversight of Afghanistan
Agreements Act of 2013
Congress makes the following findings:
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.
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.
The Agreement fails to make clear the future basing structure of United States forces in Afghanistan.
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.
The Agreement fails to specify the extent to which United States military personnel and government contractors will be accountable under the laws of Afghanistan.
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.
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.
practice with regard to international agreements other than treaties has been
regulated by Department of State guidelines that call for
the extent to which the agreement involves
commitments or risks affecting the nation as a whole,
agreement can be given effect without the enactment of subsequent legislation
by the Congress, and
the preference of the
Conclusion of bilateral agreement without congressional approval
Report on justification for denying congressional role in concluding agreement
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.
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.
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.
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