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Obama at WarCongress and the Imperial Presidency$
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Ryan C. Hendrickson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813160948

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813160948.001.0001

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Senators Kerry and McCain

Senators Kerry and McCain

Empowering the Commanders in Chief

(p.89) 6 Senators Kerry and McCain
Obama at War

Ryan C. Hendrickson

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter examines the legislative records of Senators John Kerry (D–Mass.) and John McCain (R–Ariz.) related to U.S. war powers. Both senators have long and sustained records of supporting presidents who make sweeping claims of constitutional authority for using force. McCain has backed nearly every use of force during his congressional career and has fought against congressional attempts to limit the commander in chief. In his time as a senator, Kerry often voiced his support for congressional war powers and the War Powers Resolution, but in practice he, like McCain, actively backed presidential military ambitions. Assessing these senior senators’ views and actions over a number of presidencies provides greater insight on the war powers interplay during the Obama administration and helps explains how and why Congress has so often abdicated its constitutional and legislative responsibilities to check the commander in chief.

Keywords:   congressional deference, Senator John McCain, Senator John Kerry, War Powers Resolution

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