Today in the Morning Line:
- Details emerge of Obama’s request to Congress for military authorization to fight the Islamic State group
- A brief history of war power tension
- The U.S. hasn’t declared war since WWII, plus all 11 times it has
- Jeb Bush’s $100,000 a person fundraiser, and his tech officer is out
President Obama is expected to make a statement on his request for war authorization at 3:30 p.m. EST today. Watch that in the player above.
AUMF asks for no geographic limitations, restrict ground troops, set timeline: The long-awaited “Authorization for Use of Military Force” from the White House came Wednesday. It shouldn’t be surprising that a president would want as much latitude as possible, as President Obama asked for no geographic limitations. But the resolution restricts the use of ground troops. The White House had previously claimed that the 2002 authorization to fight in Iraq gave them license to wage a battle against IS. But that changed after the midterm elections and in the run up to the State of the Union.
What the Constitution says about war power: The tension between Congress and the president over war power is of course part of the basic balance of power in the U.S., written into the Constitution. Article I, Section 8 gives Congress the power “to declare war … make rules concerning captures on land and water; To raise and support armies … To provide and maintain a navy;” and “To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.” But Article II, Section 2 says, “The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States.”
The U.S. hasn’t declared war in more than 70 years: No Congress has declared war since the June 4, 1942, declaration against Bulgaria, Hungary, and “Rumania” during World War II. But since WWII — despite conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and other hot spots — presidents have taken action without declarations of war. Congress tried to rectify some of the ambiguity with the War Powers Act of 1973, which requires the president to “consult” with Congress and gives the president the ability to use force in emergencies, but it sets a timeline of 60 to 90 days without congressional authorization. Since the president announced action against IS — Sept. 10, 2014 — it has been 154 days.
Which war powers the president wants to change There are currently two war powers resolutions, or authorizations to use military force, in operation. One, passed in 2001, relates directly to the Sept. 11 attacks and gives the president the power to use force against any person, group or nation that aided in those attacks. It has generally been used to authorize the fight against al-Qaida and its affiliates. The White House does not want that resolution to change. What the White House is requesting is a new resolution to replace the other authorization — the authorization passed in 2002 allowing use of force in Iraq. Again, multiple Congressional sources tell us President Obama wants a new authorization to allow force against the Islamic State militants and that he is requesting a three-year timeline for that authorization. Thus, it would sunset at the beginning of the next presidency.
Here’s all 11 times the U.S. has declared war: In all, America has declared war 11 times between 1812 and 1942. Here’s the list:
1. June 17, 1812 — Great Britain
2. May 12, 1846 — Mexico
3. April 25, 1898 — Spain
4. April 6, 1917 — Germany
5. Dec. 7, 1917 — Austria-Hungary
6. Dec. 8, 1941 — Japan
7-8. Dec. 11, 1941 (2) — Germany and Italy
9-11. June 4, 1942 (3) — Hungary, Bulgaria, “Rumania”
Daily Presidential Trivia: On this day in 1993, President Clinton nominated Janet Reno to be the first female Attorney General of the United States. Who was the first woman to hold a cabinet-level position? Be the first to tweet us the correct answer using #PoliticsTrivia and you’ll get a Morning Line shout-out. Congratulations to Joni Johnson (@celeste1958) for guessing Tuesday’s trivia: How many presidents died in office before the 25th Amendment was created? The answer: 8 — William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy.
Jeb Bush will attend a $100,000-a-person Manhattan fundraiser Wednesday. It’s the second fundraiser that private equity CEO Henry Kravis and his wife have hosted for Bush.
Bush is a busy guy this week. On Tuesday, he spoke at an education fundraiser in Florida, focusing on his top priorities like school-choice programs and customized instruction.
Along with the emails Bush published online Tuesday, he also dumped his constituents’ Social Security numbers.
AND he’s launching a website Wednesday. But his chief technology officer is out, after the revelation that he made racially insensitive comments.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is now the first potential 2016 candidate to open a field office in Iowa.
A former adviser to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and Chris Christie’s 2009 gubernatorial campaign has now signed on to former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s potential presidential campaign.
The race for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s not-yet-open seat is already drawing a fair amount of interest, especially by state Democrats who believe they have a shot of winning the seat back.
There’s tension between Obama and Clinton veterans now signing onto the Clinton team — more than at any point since 2008, Nicholas Confessore and Amy Chozick report.
Why hasn’t Chris Christie written a book yet? He may be waiting for state law to change so that he can profit.
Besides the dozen or so Republicans expected to vy for the nomination, there are some 2016 longshots also making stops in New Hampshire and Iowa.
Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., continues to be in hot water over his possible abuse of travel reimbursements, but now he is starting his own review.
The FBI is investigating threats made against the First Family of the United States on Newsweek’s Twitter account, which was hacked Tuesday morning by a group that calls themselves the “Cyber Caliphate.”
Average Americans can now sign a “friend of the court” brief to show their support for same-sex marriage in the case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Meanwhile Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is reintroducing a bill that would allow states to adopt their own definitions of marriage.
Harry Reid lives to campaign another day. He told his staffers Tuesday that he’d be running for reelection. The announcement comes as the Senate Minority Leader heads back to the hospital for further surgery on his eye, which he injured during an exercise accident.
Sen. David Vitter is getting some Rand momentum in his bid for Louisiana governor.
Former Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., who resigned his seat in 1995 in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal, testified before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday.
In a very small step, the heavily conservative Virginia House of Delegates voted unanimously to allow a form of medical marijuana for those suffering from epilepsy.
Has the financial industry overplayed its hand in Washington? After their big spending to roll back Dodd-Frank derivatives regulations, banks are having trouble finding much traction among moderate Democrats.
Sen Reid takes a dig at Sen Schumer after no one laughs at his joke https://t.co/TL2SwXUGHR
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorpNBC) February 10, 2015
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) February 10, 2015
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlakeWP) February 10, 2015
The stickers pic.twitter.com/S0lWPESfic
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) February 10, 2015
— Eli Yokley (@eyokley) February 10, 2015
— Michael Steel (@michael_steel) February 10, 2015
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