VIA| A new bill making its way through Congress contains “dangerous and unprecedented” language that could be considered a “declaration of international martial law,” a US senator warned last Thursday.
“This resolution is a total rewrite of the War Powers clause of the Constitution. Let’s be clear about that,” Democrat Senator Chris Murphy said on the Senate floor last week in regards to S.J. Res. 29, a bill purporting to give the sitting US president the power to declare war on ISIS.
“It is essentially a declaration of international martial law,” Murphy said.
Speaking out against the fast-track authorization for the use of military force bill proposed by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Murphy explained the resolution would permanently hand over war-making authority to the office of the president.
“A sweeping transfer of military power to the president that will allow him or her to send US troops almost anywhere in the world for any reason with absolutely no limitations,” Sen. Murphy described, adding that Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution “vests in Congress the responsibility to declare war.”
“While the ink is still wet on this resolution… it’s safe to say that this resolution is the wrong way to authorize war against ISIS,” Murphy said. “The language of this resolution is dangerous and it is unprecedented.”
“[The American people] certainly don’t want Congress to hand over the power to the president to send our troops into any country anywhere in the world for almost any reason. And that’s what this resolution would do.”
Murphy went on: “It gives the power to the president without consulting Congress to deploy US forces in anyone of the 61 countries where ISIS has a single sympathizer.”
The Senator from Connecticut also warned the bill could possibly give the president the power to deploy troops on US soil:
“Well as we’ve seen here in the United States, the threat of ISIS is present in virtually every corner in the world. Thus this resolution would give the president total absolute carte blanche to send our young soldiers to any corner of the world without consulting Congress.”
Senator Murphy’s comments were echoed on Sunday by former Congressman Ron Paul, who said the new resolution would make the “Iraq War authorization of 2002 look like a walk in the park.”
“Let’s be clear: If Senate Majority Leader McConnell succeeds in passing this open-ended war authorization, the US Constitution will be all but a dead letter,” Dr. Paul wrote.
The bill currently has four co-sponsors, Sen. Daniel Coats, Sen. Joni Ernst, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen Orrin Hatch.