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Sen. Mike Lee (C) with Sen. Bernie Sanders (L) and Sen. Chris Murphy (R). Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) unveiled draft legislation Tuesday intended to overhaul the role of Congress in national security matters, including by reclaiming authority on war powers, arms exports and national emergency declarations.

Why it matters: All three senators have been critical of the executive branch's unilateral decision-making on key national security issues, including both President Trump and President Biden's attacks against Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria without congressional authorization.

  • Murphy, Sanders and Lee also co-sponsored legislation during the Trump administration to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has created one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters.
  • “I believe that we have become far too comfortable with the United States engaging in military interventions all over the world, and the time is long overdue for Congress to reassert its constitutional role in matters of war and peace," Sanders said in a statement.

Details, according to a bill summary:

  • War powers reform: The bill would sunset existing Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMFs), outline requirements for future AUMFs, cut off funding for unauthorized military actions, and shorten the 60 day window for the president to end "hostilities" that aren't authorized by Congress.
  • Arms export reform: The bill would require Congress to give an affirmative vote prior to authorizing arms sales of the "most destructive and potentially destabilizing weapons," and would allow controversial items to be removed from group votes approving arm sales.
  • National emergency reform: The bill would require Congress proactively approve emergency declarations (rather than attempt to override them), end "permanent" emergencies that date back decades, and ensure emergency powers are specifically related to the declared emergency.

What to watch: Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) is expected to unveil similar legislation in the House in the coming weeks.

Go deeper

Jul 18, 2021 - World

Biden faces rising global disorder

Taiwan's Brave Eagle advanced jet trainer, built to boost the island's defense self-sufficiency as China ramps up military activities nearby, takes maiden flight last year. Photo: Hsu Tsun-hsu/AFP via Getty Images

Hot spots have mushroomed across the world in 2021, adding multiple international crises to President Biden's formidable domestic to-do list.

Why it matters: Cracks in the global order, which had been presided over by unrivaled American influence since the end of the Cold War, are growing. The proliferation of great-power flashpoints, and failing or failed states, creates new threats to American leadership — and to the global economy, which has been recovering.

42 mins ago - World

Rich world’s pandemic selfishness won't be forgotten

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The failure of rich countries to share vaccines and financial assistance with poorer ones during the pandemic will exacerbate the rise in global poverty and could come back to bite them, Nobel Prize-winning economists Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee tell Axios.

Why it matters: Duflo initially believed the pandemic would produce a “more cooperative world order” as rich countries felt compelled to show solidarity with the developing world, potentially boding well for future collaboration on issues like climate change. Now she fears the opposite.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress passes $2.1B Capitol security funding bill

U.S. Capitol police officers testify during a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on July 27. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via Xinhua

A $2.1 billion Capitol security funding bill is heading to President Biden for his signature after the House and Senate passed the legislation on Thursday.

Why it matters: The legislation provides funding for the Capitol Police, the National Guard and other agencies to cover the costs incurred during the Jan. 6 riot.