Resolved: On balance, the current Authorization for Use of Military Force too much power to the Pres - The Best Online Debate Website | - Debate Anything The Best Online Debate Website |

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Resolved: On balance, the current Authorization for Use of Military Force too much power to the Pres
in United States

Position: Against
By agsragsr 850 Pts
1-1 Debate Challenge

Resolved: On balance, the current Authorization for Use of Military Force gives too much power to the president.

As a followup to my prior debate, I challenge anyone to this 1-1 debate.

Specifically, to focus this discussion, this debate will be about content of the article

Congress must restore its authority and give power back to the people

I will negate the resolution, and I expect my opponent to support it with qualified evidence.  3 rounds, with max 12 hours per round. First round will be acceptance round.  Good luck, and I look forward to a constructive debate.

  1. Resolved: On balance, the current Authorization for Use of Military Force gives too much power

    8 votes
    1. Affirm - too much power
    2. Negate - not too much power
Live Long and Prosper

Debra AI Prediction

Predicted To Win

Details +


48% (15 Points)


52% (16 Points)

Votes: 2

Debate Type: Traditional Debate

Voting Format: Casual Voting

Opponent: WhyTrump

Rounds: 3

Time Per Round: 12 Hours Per Round

Voting Period: 24 Hours

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3



  • Round 1 | Position: For
    I gladly accept the challenge @agsr, and will be glad to debate this topic in more detail as 1-1 format.  I will post my arguments shortly
    WhyTrump - a good question
  • Round 1 | Position: Against
    Thanks @WhyTrump.

    Live Long and Prosper
  • Round 2 | Position: Against
    Those that believe that currently executive branch has too much power over the military put forward multiple complex arguments, but none of them provide convincing evidence that an alternative solution would work better.  In fact, we need decisive presidential power to make urgent military decisions in case of a time-sensitive threat.  What we don't need is management by committee, risking a political dead-lock.

    If you look closely at the resolution 

    Resolved: On balance, the current Authorization for Use of Military Force gives too much power to the president.

    It acknowledges that there of course will be some drawbacks of having authorization for Use of Military Force, and that's why it says "on balance".  The concern I have with the article, is that it offers an unrealistic notion that we can govern urgent decisions by the "people", and ignores the fact that political representation of the people is very different than the actual people.

    Below is my specific analysis of the article.

    The article argues
    "Congress routinely punts tough policy decisions to the White House by giving deference to presidents. This slide away from the intent of the Constitution can be addressed in part by Congress reclaiming its power."

    This paragraph is almost a clickbait.  It offers a strong position that it wasn't intended by the Constitution, but doesn't really offer followup evidence on that point.  Also congress reclaiming the power is very different than people reclaiming the power as suggested in the title of the article.

    "By giving the executive branch a wide berth in carrying out the laws, members of the House and senators can always claim that an unpopular law was carried out in a manner Congress did not intend. That provides political cover for pusillanimous policymakers. It also entrenches bureaucrats who are not answerable to the people in the way representatives and senators are."

    That's an interesting argument.  Essentially it says that the only reason why it wasn't changed is because bureaucrats are afraid of making an unpopular decision and be blamed if something goes wrong.  I think they will absolutely be blamed, because once there is a real emergency and the President needs to ask Congress for permission then it will quickly turn south.

    The article provided two examples where the author felt the President abused his power. One by Obama and one by George W. Bush.

    example 1) 
    One of the most egregious examples of the president acting in light of wide congressional deference is the Antiquities Act and the broad use of it by President Obama. “In setting aside 550 million acres over the course of eight years, Obama's use of the Antiquities Act hardly complies with the "smallest area compatible" requirement of the 1906 law.” Congress has let this misuse of presidential power continue instead narrowing the scope of its use legislatively. This is also illustrated in immigration law, where the executive branch has significant leeway, of which President Obama’s executive amnesty is an example.

    Example 2)
    President George W. Bush also contributed to this erosion of congressional power through his frequent signing statements. Indeed, as Richard Epstein wrote, “In these statements, the president often has claimed that the new laws violate the Constitution and signaled his intention not to enforce certain provisions, despite having signed them into law.” Congress failed to tackle this executive branch excursion into its power. The result is a less democratic and accountable federal government.

    Neither of these two examples directly confront the issue of abuse of the military oower by the president.

    Live Long and Prosper
  • Round 2 | Position: For

    Authorization for Use of Military Force Gives too much power to the President for the following reasons.

    - checks and balances of Congress can be bypassed at a whim. We aren’t a monarchy, and can’t rely exclusively on a single person to make unilateral decisions. 
    - Congress gave up it’s power and isn’t willing to confront the broken process to get it back. The opinion paper articulated that well, as politicians are too worried about the polls.

    The entire point of Congress is to represent the people.  The argument that people aren’t making decisions directly, but represented via Congress is a moot point as it’s not reasonable to assume that people can be represented in a direct voting.

    WhyTrump - a good question
  • Round 3 | Position: Against
    I presented specific arguments for why we need to ensure that in case of crisis we can’t wait for political navigation of a dead locked Congress, and that point wasn’t refuted.
    I also provided specific points about the article that demonstrated that there isn’t any real evidence for insisting getting Congress involved in urgent decisions.

    The point about people representation is perfectly fine, but not at times of crisis. We need to rely for elected officials and President to do the job we elected them to do.

    In conclusion, 

    Authorization for Use of Military Force by the President of the United States is an appropriate measure that shouldn’t change.

    Live Long and Prosper
  • Round 3 | Position: For
    Thanks agsr. Nice debate. Let’s have voters decide who won.

    Our key points of contention seem to remain that you suggest that it’s okay for President to act as a monarch and make unilateral decisions. Your claim for urgent situations can easily become a cover for any Presidential decisions undermining Congressional authority.  
    WhyTrump - a good question
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