Bipartisan Effort Moves to Strengthen National Security Oversight

Bipartisan Effort Moves to Strengthen National Security Oversight

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced legislation to strengthen congressional oversight of the president’s war powers.

Reps. (D-Mass.) and (R-Mich.) hope the Reforms and Accountability Act will check the seemingly unilateral war powers of the Executive Branch.

POLITICO’s Connor O’Brien reports:

“Clearly, this is not the system of checks and balance our constitution envisions. Congress is the branch of government closest to the people and it is our duty to make tough decisions about when, where, and how to put American troops in harm’s way,” McGovern said in a statement. “We need to come together in a bipartisan way to reclaim our rightful role as a co-equal branch of government before it’s too late.”

“Congress must reassert its role in national security decisions, especially those that impact our servicemembers,” Meijer added. “The National Security Reforms and Accountability Act will put Congress back in the driver’s seat so we can deliver on our duty to the American people as it is laid out by the Constitution.”

The pair is joined by Democrats Barbara Lee of California, Peter DeFazio of Oregon, Joaquin Castro of Texas, Ted Lieu of California and Republican Nancy Mace of South Carolina.

It’s unclear if the measure will come up for debate and a vote, but the bipartisan group is indicative of mounting support on Capitol Hill to reclaim congressional prerogatives on waging war and reel in the commander in chief’s authorities that have grown substantially in the two decades since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. McGovern, meanwhile, chairs the Rules Committee, which vets legislation before it heads to the House floor.

The legislation follows a bipartisan war powers bill recently introduced in the Senate.

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