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Friday, January 3, 2020

War Powers: Consultation

Section 3 of the War Powers Resolution requires the President "in every possible instance" to consult with Congress before introducing U.S. Armed Forces into situations of hostilities and imminent hostilities, and to continue consultations as long as the armed forces remain in such situations. The House report elaborated:
A considerable amount of attention was given to the definition of consultation. Rejected was the notion that consultation should be synonymous with merely being informed. Rather, consultation in this provision means that a decision is pending on a problem and that Members of Congress are being asked by the President for their advice and opinions and, in appropriate circumstances, their approval of action contemplated. Furthermore, for consultation to be meaningful, the President himself must participate and all information relevant to the situation must be made available.1
The House version specifically called for consultation between the President and the leadership and appropriate committees. This was changed to less specific wording in conference, however, in order to provide more flexibility.