One of many areas in Congress that have failed since 1991 is reclaiming its war powers. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about Presidential War Powers and the need for Congress to reclaim its war power. Specifically, the Authorized Use of Military Force (AUMF) is under discussion, and the AUMF joint resolution during the Bush Administration is the focus of the talks


One of the most consequential constitutional duties assigned to the legislative and executive branches is the power to declare war. In Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution, Congress declared war only eleven times in five different conflicts and authorized military force more than forty times in our nation’s history. In the Constitution, under Article II, the President has ample authority to defend the interests of the United States, including the ability to use the military to protect the country. Our framers ensured this balance of power to be a check on war powers. In addition, it is the responsibility of the American people to ensure their elected officials do not allow America to get involved in unjust wars and conflicts. The cost paid by the American people is to our most precious resource, our sons and daughters. Unfortunately, the American people have become complacent in many areas, and Congress has drifted away from public service and is now serving at the expense of the American people.

The second inaugural address of President Abraham Lincoln. The President is in the center of the photo, below the flag and to the left, on the east front of the US Capitol. Image courtesy of the United States Library of Congress.


The US Congress consisting of the House of Representatives and the US Senate is one of the least respected institutions in our nation ( It is at the bottom of the list with lawyers, media, and big business. Members of Congress, both past and present, have earned this distinction. Career politicians do not hold themselves accountable, hide from responsibility, are not transparent, do not tell the truth, and have abandoned the principles of public service for self-service. Career politicians serve special interests and their lobbyists and the wealthy political elite who finance their campaigns. This is all done at the expense of the American people.