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H.J.Res. 66 (116th): War Powers Amendments of 2019

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jun 19, 2019.

War Powers Amendments of 2019

This joint resolution revises the War Powers Resolution, a law designed to limit the President's power to introduce Armed Forces into hostilities. Changes include shortening the time that Armed Forces may be involved in hostilities without congressional action and providing for judicial enforcement.

The President shall remove any Armed Forces introduced into hostilities without congressional approval within 30 days unless Congress (1) declares war, (2) enacts a joint resolution specifically authorizing such use of the Armed Forces, (3) extends this deadline by 30 days, or (4) is unable to meet because of an attack on the United States. Current law allows such use of the Armed Forces for 60 days from when the President first reports to Congress about the engagement and allows for a 60-day extension.

If Congress takes no such actions, funds may not be used to continue Armed Forces involvement in the hostilities, except to withdraw.

The bill removes a provision requiring the removal of such engaged Armed Forces if Congress passes a concurrent resolution requiring such removal.

A member of Congress may sue in district court for an order directing the President to comply with this bill. A judgment in such an action shall be directly appealable to the Supreme Court.

The bill amends various provisions relating to (1) the President reporting to and consulting with Congress regarding the use of the Armed Forces without congressional authorization, and (2) procedures for the expedited handling of joint resolutions related to such use of force.