Prior to the election, 4th District Congressman Jim Himes said that one of the first actions of Congress should be to take back its war-making authority. He says it's something that's been talked about for decades. Since World War II, despite a lot of military activity, there hasn't been a formal declaration of war.
He introduced the Reclamation of War Powers Act on Monday.
Without a formal declaration of war, or a resolution, the President can't introduce armed forces into hostilities according to the legislation. He says the bill will stop the President from taking military action, except in emergencies, without Congressional approval. The exceptions would be an attack or imminent attack on the United States.
The one tool Congress has, the power of the purse, would be used to take that power back. Himes says money could not be expended to engage in war unless a deceleration is made by Congress.
Himes notes that the bill will also repeal the two existing Authorizations for Use of Military Force under which the country has been operating. Himes says the President-elect who says he has a secret plan to defeat ISIS; he cannot be allowed to operate without Congressional approval under AUMFs from 15 years ago.
AUMFs were for the War in Iraq and to go after Al Qaeda. Himes wants a new declaration to go after ISIS.