Democratic Senator Chris Murphy has warned that should President Donald Trump conduct a preemptive military strike on North Korea without congressional approval, “there would be no end to the ability to make war without Congress,” Newsweek reports.
“Congress would be wholly and completely irrelevant in the question of overseas military action,” Murphy told Vox in an interview.
Together with two of his Democratic colleagues, senators Cory Booker and Brian Schatz, Murphy is currently drafting legislation that aims to prevent Trump from launching a military strike against North Korea, nuclear or non-nuclear, without congressional approval, Newsweek writes.
“I simply do not believe that the Constitution gives the president the ability to conduct military action abroad absent an attack on the United States, or an imminent threat of attack. But the president’s advisers seem to be suggesting that they perceive his powers to be much broader than that. This legislation would clear up that discrepancy.” Murphy stressed.
The bill that Murphy is drafting would say the Trump administration “cannot take military action, and can use no funds for military action, unless there is an attack, an imminent attack, or you’ve gotten congressional authorization.”
Under the U.S. Constitution, the president is the commander in chief of the U.S. military, but technically can’t actually declare war without approval from Congress. From the earliest days of the U.S., however, presidents have been testing the limits of their authority in this regard, Newsweek adds.
During an interview with Newsweek earlier ithis month, Murphy was somewhat reluctant to endorse a legislative approach to restricting Trump’s war powers, and he still seems skeptical Republicans will support the bill he’s putting forward.
Senator Bob Corker, who’s been lately quite publicly feuding with Trump, has also expressed concern over the president’s stance and behavior toward North Korea. However, it’s not clear if he would come out in support of legislation regarding presidential war powers, Newsweek informs.