On Monday, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) called for a new congressional authorization for U.S. military operations overseas.
McCain told reporters that he and Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed are working on a proposal to update the broad war powers Congress gave the commander in chief after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
A new war powers vote was called on after the deaths of four U.S. soldiers in Niger earlier this month.
The Trump administration, although, has indicated it would not oppose. They did say that they have all the legal authority it needs to conduct anti-terrorism operations under the existing 2001 authorization.
McCain was quoted saying, “We’re going to have to have” an updated authorization for the use of military force.
The new momentum still may not translate into a floor vote anytime soon. Previous attempts this year to repeal or rewrite the law have failed among congressional GOP leaders.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee did scheduled to hold a hearing on the president’s war powers on October 30. Sponsors of a new war authorization proposal, Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) were the ones pushing for the meeting. Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said that the hearing was “excellent” timing Thursday.
Corker did say, however, “I don’t know. I mean, there are so many bigger issues. I mean, it’s the beginning of a much larger conversation.”
On Monday, John McCain told reporters, “We expect more information, we are getting some cooperation and information — which we were not getting before.”
On Sunday, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), members from opposing parties, said that they did not know the size of the U.S. military presence in Niger.
Although during a briefing yesterday the Pentagon did disclose a memo that Congress was notified of troops in Niger. In fairness, it was a memo of probably hundred they received.
As lawmakers have been demanding those details, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford pledged to provide those details.
Dunford said, “We owe the families as much information as we can find out about what happened. With regard to Congress and the criticism, we’re not providing enough information, … if the Congress doesn’t believe that they’re not getting sufficient information, then I need to double my efforts to provide them with information.”
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