Here is What the 2020 Candidates Say About the President’s Power to Wage War Without Congressional Approval

The strongest critics of unilateral decisions to attack other countries include Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders, while Joe Biden thinks anything goes.

by Jacob Sullum
Reason.com

Responding to a 2007 Boston Globe survey of presidential candidates, Barack Obama rejected the idea that the president has the authority to wage war without congressional authorization whenever he thinks it is in the national interest. “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” he said.

After he was elected president, Obama took a different view, maintaining that he did not need congressional approval to attack Libya, Syria, or ISIS. He also defied the requirements of the War Powers Resolution, absurdly arguing that dropping bombs and firing missiles from drones in Libya did not constitute “hostilities” under that law.

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