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Congress has authority over financial and budgetary policy through the enumerated power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. There is vast authority over budgets, although analyst Eric Patashnik suggested that much of Congress's power to manage the budget has been lost when the welfare state expanded since "en@&#%#!!lements were ins@&#%#!!utionally detached from Congress's ordinary legislative routine and rhythm."[23] Another factor leading to less control over the budget was a Keynesian belief that balanced budgets were unnecessary.[23] Congress has an important role in national defense, including the exclusive power to declare war, to raise and maintain the armed forces, and to make rules for the military.[59] Some critics charge that the executive branch has usurped Congress's cons@&#%#!!utionally defined task of declaring war.[60] While historically presidents initiated the process for going to war, they asked for and received formal war declarations from Congress for the War of 1812, the Mexican–American War, the Spanish–American War, World War I, and World War II,[61] although President Theodore Roosevelt's military move into Panama in 1903 did not get Congressional assent.[61] In the early days after the North Korean invasion of 1950, President Truman described the American response as a "police action".[62] According to Time magazine in 1970, "U.S. presidents [had] ordered troops into position or action without a formal congressional declaration a total of 149 times."[61] In 1993, Michael Kinsley wrote that "Congress's war power has become the most flagrantly disregarded provision in the Cons@&#%#!!ution," and that the "real erosion [of Congress's war power] began after World War II."[63][64][65] Disagreement about the extent of congressional versus presidential power regarding war has been present periodically throughout the nation's history."[66]
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samuels's picture

Congress - 12/07/2011 02:53:50