June 5th, 2014

June 5th- National Archives Panel Discussion: The Role of Congress in International Crises

June 5th at 7pm: McGowen Theater, National Archives


Moderator: Mike McCurry

Featured Panelists:

  • Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL)
  • Former Member Chris Shays (R-CT)
  • Former Member John Tanner (D-TN)
  • Bob Woodward

With the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, the crisis in Ukraine and other nations around the world, the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World I, this will be an especially timely panel discussion.

Our Founding Fathers, when creating a government of checks and balances, believed the power to wage war to be too great as that one citizen – the President – could be entrusted with it.  Therefore, the Constitution clearly states in Article 1, Section 8:

[The Congress shall have Power…] To Declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.

Once war is declared by Congress, the power shifts to the Commander in Chief to oversee the conduct and the direction of the war, with Congress’ only input coming via appropriating requested funding.  Our distinguished panel will examine how this rather clear division of powers and responsibilities has been interpreted in the past, how military action was taken without the authorization of Congress, and how the conduct of war is influenced by the legislative branch via appropriations and other means.

Event Flyer (pdf): The Role of Congress in International Crises

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