The Organization to Limit Congressional Spending (OLCS) is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization of members who are working to limit congressional spending on activities (task or projects) that are not part of the responsibilities given to it by the Constitution.
Congress has officially declared war only five times:  The War of 1812;  The Mexican War, 1846;  The Spanish-American War, 1898;  World War I;  World War II.
The War Powers Resolution of 1973 (50 U.S.C. 1541-1548) is a federal law designed to limit the power of the President to commit the United States to war without the consent of Congress. The law is a joint resolution adopted by the Congress; it provides that the President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or in case of a national emergency created by an attack upon the United States. The War Powers Resolution requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, without an authorization from Congress. The resolution was passed by two-thirds of Congress, overriding a presidential veto. Despite the apparent non-ambiguity of its language, the War Powers Resolution has been regularly ignored by presidents of both parties; some Presidents have even declaring their belief that the act is unconstitutional.
Under the United States Constitution, war powers are divided. Congress has the power to declare war, raise and support the armed forces, and to control the war funding (Article I, Section 8), while the President is commander-in-chief of the military (Article II, Section 2). It is generally agreed that the commander-in-chief role gives the President power to repel attacks against the United States and makes the President responsible for leading the armed forces. In addition and as with all acts of the Congress, the President has the right to sign or veto congressional acts, such as a declaration of war.
Ever since the Korean War, Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution — which refers to the president as the "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States" — has been interpreted to mean that the president may act with an essentially free hand in foreign affairs, or at the very least that he may send men into battle without consulting Congress. Some argue what the framers meant by that clause was that once war has been declared, it was the President's responsibility as commander-in-chief to direct the war They argue that the vesting of the power to declare war gives Congress the sole authority to decide whether to make war. This argument misinterprets the constitutional text and misunderstands the nature of a declaration of war. Declaring war is not tantamount to making war - indeed, the Constitutional Convention expressly amended the working draft of the Constitution that had given Congress the power to make war. When it took up this clause on 1787, the Convention voted to change the clause from "make" to "declare. Further, other elements of the Constitution describe "engaging" in war, which demonstrates that the Framers understood making and engaging in war to be broader than simply "declaring" war. See U.S. Const. art. I, § 10, cl. 3 ("No State shall, without the Consent of Congress . . . engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay."). One State's constitution at the time of the ratification included provisions that prohibited the governor from "making" war without legislative approval, S.C. Const. art. XXVI (1776), reprinted in 6 The Federal and State Constitutions 3247 (Francis Newton Thorpe ed., 1909). If the Framers of the Constitution had wanted to require congressional consent before the opening of a military conflict, they knew how to write such provisions.
Finally, the Framing understood that declarations of war were outdated. Not all forms of aggression rose to the level of a declared war: During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Great Britain and colonial America waged numerous encounter against other states without an official declaration of war. England did NOT declare war against colonial America in the Revolution War, because this would have given the colonies the status of a nation. As Alexander Hamilton observed during the ratification, "the ceremony of a formal denunciation of war has of late fallen into disuse." The Federalist No. 25, at 133 (Alexander Hamilton). Instead of serving as an approval to begin hostilities, a declaration of war was only necessary to "perfect" a conflict under international law. A declaration served to fully transform the international legal relationship between two states from one of peace to one of war. Given this context, it is clear that Congress's power to declare war does not constrain the President's independent and complete constitutional authority over the use of military force.
During the Korean and Vietnam wars, the United States found itself involved for many years in "war" without a declaration of war. Many irate members of Congress were concerned with the loss of congressional authority to decide when the United States should become involved in a war or any use of armed forces that might lead to war. The War Powers Resolution was passed by both the House and Senate but was vetoed by President Nixon. Then by the necessary two-thirds vote in each house, Congress overrode the veto and enacted the joint resolution into law. Since 1973, Presidents have submitted more than 100 reports to Congress as a result of the War Powers. The War Powers Resolution has been controversial since it became law. In passing the resolution, Congress specifically cites the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution for its authority. The Necessary and Proper Clause, specifically provided that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof. Because it limits the President's authority in the use of force without an official resolution or declaration of war by Congress, there is controversy as to whether the provisions of the resolution are consistent with the Constitution. Presidents have therefore drafted reports to Congress stating that they are "consistent with" the War Powers Resolution rather than "pursuant to" so as to take into account the presidential position that the Resolution is unconstitutional.
One argument for the unconstitutionality of the War Powers Resolution is that the power to make war is not an enumerated power and the notion that to "declare" war is to "commence" war is a present-day notion. A second constitutionality argument concerns a possible breach of the 'separation of powers' doctrine, and whether this Resolution changes the balance between the Legislative and Executive functions. Congress is explicitly granted the sole authority to declare war and to control the funding of any war. The President allegedly has inherent authority as Commander in Chief. This argument does not address the many other reporting requirements imposed on other executive officials and executive agencies by other laws, nor does it address the provisions of Article I, Section 8 that gives Congress the authority to "make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces. The constitution specifically states that Congress is authorized "to provide and maintain a Navy" (Article 1 Section 8). The idea of "maintenance" of a Navy implies that Naval Forces would be a permanent fixture of defense. However, there is no provision in the Constitution for the maintenance of a standing Army. for Congress has the power to "raise and support" land forces. "Raise" implies that the forces must be formed, or not currently in existence. The founder's strategy for national defense was based upon a bottom-up approach, that is, armed citizenry organized into local (state) militia which could be federalized. In modern circumstances with the availability of a standing Army, and the President of the United States being authorized as "Commander in Chief," implies his ability as a military commander to employ forces as necessary to fulfill his oath to defend the constitution.
When presidents lose domestic support, they sometimes look overseas for a crises to solve. Sometimes this means war. President Clinton consider or took military action in Bosnia, Haiti, Korea, and Somalia. At no point did he indicate a willingness to involve Congress in his decision-making process. To the contrary, in 1993 he stated he would oppose attempts to encroach on the President's foreign policy powers. In this way, at least, he is acting like many other presidents. Clinton emphasizes that he is the commander-in-chief, and, he claims, that the Constitution gives the President the ultimate decision-making authority. As such, Clinton argues, he is entitled to do whatever he pleases with the military. This executive presumption goes back to Richard Nixon and Harry Truman, and much further. However, President Lincoln stated that kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending that the good of the people was the object. Lincoln rejected the view that presidents have expansive war-making powers independent of Congress. Stating that war, is the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; the Constitution is structured so that no one man should hold the power of bringing war upon the nation. The opposing view, he concluded, "destroys the whole matter, and places our President where kings have always stood."
The Supreme Court has had relatively little to say about the Constitution's war powers. Many interesting legal questions (such as the constitutionality of the "police action" in Korea or the "undeclared war" in Vietnam) were never decided by the Court. Although the Supreme Court had three opportunities to decide the constitutionality of the war in Vietnam, it passed on each one. We are long past the point in time at which constitutional arguments have much hope of limiting American's leaders, either at home or abroad. However, these arguments are still worth making, since they serve to show the two major parties' disrespect for American law and tradition.