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Democrats propose banning Commander-in-Chief Trump from carrying out preemptive strikes on N. Korea

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Democrats in the Senate are proposing a bill that would bar President Trump from carrying out a preemptive strike on North Korea without the approval of Congress.

Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut announced Wednesday in a series of tweets that he and two other Democrat senators will be introducing a bill “to prohibit any preemptive action” by the president.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang have led to concerns over the possibility of war  and the Democratic lawmakers are seeking to limit Trump’s power in case of such an event.

Murphy is joined by Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker in proposing the bill which, he said, would make the president’s decision to carry out a strike – either “nuclear or conventional” – without congressional consent “illegal.”

He also warned that a “mistake by Trump could kill hundreds of thousands on Korean Peninsula” and the bill was aimed at seeking to “clarify Trump’s war powers.”

The U.S. Constitution limits the authority of the President in using military force without a declaration of war by Congress. The War Powers Act of 1973 was intended to balance war-making power between the executive and the legislative branches of the government.

The Resolution requires that within 48 hours of committing U.S. armed forces to military action, the president must notify Congress. Any continuing action after 60 days needs congressional authorization.

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The proposed bill by the Democratic lawmakers seems aimed at not only limiting the president’s authority, but making any preemptive decision by him without the knowledge and approval of Congress illegal.

Murphy’s tweets included a call to any Republicans who are “breaking” with the president to support the bill.

Murphy has not revealed any details of how the bill proposes to limit presidential power, or how to respond to congressional delays in decision-making in the face of impending hostile actions by nations like North Korea, which could launch a preemptive attack on the United States.

Trump warned that the U.S. would “totally destroy” North Korea if it continued its rhetoric and threats in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly last month.

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Frieda Powers

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