Obama to hear panel on changes to war powers act

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It's not as if President-elect Barack Obama doesn't have enough on his plate with a financial meltdown and a home-state scandal. But now he is delving into the thorny question of who can send the country into war.

In between interviewing cabinet nominees and announcing health care plans, Obama plans to meet Thursday with the leaders of a commission that has proposed revamping the legal process for launching military action, to require more consultation between a president and Congress.

The proposal would scrap the problematic War Powers Act of 1973, a measure passed in the hangover from Vietnam to give Congress more say in committing troops to the battlefield but largely honored in the breach ever since by presidents who deemed it unconstitutional. In its place, the commission proposes a law requiring a president to consult lawmakers before any"significant military action" and calling on Congress to vote up or down within 30 days.

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