Documents: Contemporary America
Congress finally adopted the War Powers Resolution of 1973 over President Richard Nixon’s veto as a response to executive interpretation of, and action under, the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Even though Congress had repealed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1971, some members felt that Congress needed to act to prevent future presidential action committing American armed forces abroad without congressional involvement. The War Powers Resolution provides that the President can only commit American forces abroad if Congress has declared war or has specifically authorized the President to do so or a national emergency exists because of an attack on the U. S., its territory, or its armed forces. Whenever possible, the law provides, the President shall consult with Congress before committing troops into hostilities. In the absence of a congressional declaration of war when American troops have been introduced abroad, the law states, the President within 48 hours must submit to the presiding officers of the Senate and the House a written report explaining the circumstances necessitating the commitment abroad and an estimate of the duration and scope of the involvement. Furthermore, the law provides, within 60 days after the President submits the written report, he must terminate the commitment abroad unless Congress has declared war or specifically authorized their continuation abroad or extended the 60-day period. However, the law states, the extension may only be for 30 days unless the President determines and certifies to Congress in writing that the safety of the armed forces requires their continued presence abroad.
The consensus has been that the War Powers Resolution has been largely ineffective in limiting presidential ability to commit troops abroad and has, in fact, authorized the President to commit troops abroad for 60 or 90 days.
He carried out his plan by threatening to veto any tax increase Congress passed. He successfully proposed tax cuts and reductions in funding for some domestic programs, while proposing increased spending on defense. Some historians credit Reagan’s policies for helping boost the U. S. economy by the mid-1980s. Critics, on the other hand, assert that Reagan’s tax plan unfairly benefited the wealthy and blamed “trickle-down economics” for producing large deficits that increased the national debt.
Reagan was re-elected to a second term in 1984 by one of the largest landslides in American political history.
Since the ADA was signed into law in 1990, its provisions, enforcement measures, and effectiveness have all come under scrutiny. Supporters have credited the ADA with improving the quality of life of millions of disabled citizens and opening new economic opportunities for disabled workers across the nation. In addition, historians have noted ‘the landmark civil rights law changed the way U. S. businesses and institutions understand the rights and abilities of disabled citizens.”