Law Dictionary

War Powers Act

Law 50 U.S.C. § 1541 et seq. (1973)
  1. restrained the president's ability to commit U.S. forces overseas. Whereas previously, both by constitutional right and by custom, the executive branch had exercised full authority to send troops abroad, under the provisions of this act Congress was to play a more prominent role in making such decisions. The law required the president to consult with and report to Congress before involving U.S. forces in foreign hostilities. Generally considered a measure to help prevent “future Vietnams,” the Act has nevertheless met with some resistance among presidents and has not always been strictly interpreted by Congress.


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