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The War Powers Resolution of 1973 resulted from a constitutional battle between the legislative and executive branches in how the United States should commit to military conflicts. Congress traditionally held the power of declaring war, but it has not declared war since December 1941, when the United States entered World War II. As the definitions of war and military actions have blurred, Congress has ceded conflict-entry power in deference of the executive's commander in chief powers. The War Powers Resolution allows a President 60 days with a 30 day withdrawal period to conduct military actions without a congressional declaration of war or authorization of force. Its importance is emphasized by its recent invocations and in the constantly changing positions of the executive and legislative in their war and authorization powers.

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Timeline

10/20/2011: Federal court dismissed lawsuit over US Libya involvement.

06/24/2011: Speaker Boehner sent Obama a letter warning near violating of the 60-day provision of the War Powers Act.

06/16/2011: Obama released report defending military operations in Libya.

06/15/2011: A group of congressmen filed suit against Obama, alleging violation of Article 1, Section 8.

06/15/2011: Obama released report justifying actions and cost in Libya.

07/08/2008: US group co-chaired by Secretaries of State called for report limiting presidential war powers.

03/21/2003: President Bush submitted War Powers notice to Congress.

03/13/2003: First Circuit rejected War Powers appeal.

09/29/1983: Congress invoked War Powers Act for the first time.

11/07/1973: Congress passed War Powers Act.

 ...[more]

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