Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Intelligence Committee, voted today to overturn President Donald Trump’s veto of the revised war powers resolution (S.J.Res.68), which she co-sponsored.
“I voted to overturn the President’s veto of S.J.Res.68 that Senator Tim Kaine authored and I co-sponsored, which would have reasserted Congress’ constitutional role and recognized that the Framers did not vest in the President the authority to declare war unilaterally. This resolution would not have altered the President’s inherent authority as Commander in Chief to defend our nation and U.S. forces abroad. It simply made clear that only the Congress may declare war or commit our armed forces to a sustained military conflict.
“Over the past decade, Congress has too often abdicated its constitutional responsibilities on authorizing the sustained use of military force. Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution vests in Congress the sole power to declare war.
“It is important to reassert the Legislative Branch's war powers authorities regardless of who occupies the White House. This has been my position during every administration, Democratic or Republican, and I have supported a number of prior war powers resolutions. For example, in 2011, I voted with 10 Republicans on a motion expressing this sentiment prompted by President Obama’s decision to conduct a military intervention in Libya.
“Although the President as Commander in Chief has the power to lead and defend our armed forces and to respond to imminent attacks, no President has the authority to commit our military to a war.”