Report Urges Overhaul of the War Powers Law

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Two former secretaries of state, concluding that a 1973 measure limiting the president’s ability to wage war unilaterally had never worked as intended, proposed on Tuesday a new system of closer consultation between the White House and Congress before American forces go into battle.

Their proposal would require the president to consult senior lawmakers before initiating combat expected to last longer than a week, except for covert operations or rare circumstances requiring emergency action, in which case consultation would have to be undertaken within three days.

Congress, for its part, would have 30 days to approve the military action or, if it declined to do so, could then order it ended by disapproving it.

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