It was not extremely widely covered, but the House of Representatives snuck an amendment into the jobs package which effectively freezes the War Powers Act for the next 60 days.
The bill kills all War Powers Act mechanisms between now and the mid-term elections, and prevent any member of Congress trying to force a vote on the new ISIS war.
The US has been launching airstrikes in Iraq since early August. Under the War Powers Act, military action without a Congressional authorization is forbidden beyond 60 days, a date which will be passed in October.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R – TX) accused opponents of the ban of “grandstanding,” saying it was necessary for the House to “protect its members” by not allowing any vote on the war until after the mid-term.
Many Congressmen are desperate to avoid such a vote, because the new war is hugely controversial and few want to have to defend their position to voters in November. Instead, the plan is to punt on the vote until after the election, and indeed potentially not bother to hold a vote at all then either.
The Obama Administration has claimed it doesn’t need any Congressional authorization for the war, though it has said it is open to the idea of a vote endorsing the conflict for the sake of “unity.”