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The content below comes from the newsletter This Week in War Powers News, provided by the Committee for Responsible Foreign Policy.

Senate Leaders Want to Fast-Track Debate on Ukraine, Afghanistan, War Powers

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is urging senators to speed up debate on the annual defense policy bill so that amendment votes can kick off as early as Thursday.

On the floor, the New York Democrat reupped his calls for Republicans to agree to hasten the process so that the National Defense Authorization Act can be finished ahead of Thanksgiving.

“With Republican cooperation we can adopt the motion to proceed and begin voting on amendments early today,” Schumer said.

“We should work together and complete this important bill before the Thanksgiving holiday,” he added.

Quickly starting debate and voting on amendments requires both parties to sign off. It’s not immediately clear how soon a bipartisan agreement on amendments may be struck. READ MORE

Over 30 Lawmakers Question Biden’s Legal Reasoning for Strikes

More than 30 lawmakers — from both parties — today will send a letter to President JOE BIDEN questioning the administration’s legal rationale for bypassing Congress before launching a military strike.

“We are deeply troubled by your administration’s dangerous claim that Article II of the Constitution permits you to bypass Congressional authorization to perform strikes inside Syria, as well as your administration’s claim that the wide range of activities that you have undertaken as part of the ongoing U.S. occupation of a large swath of Syrian territory is justified by the Authorization for Use of Military Force … of 2001,” wrote the lawmakers, led by Reps. PETER DEFAZIO (D-Ore.), NANCY MACE (R-S.C.) and JAMAAL BOWMAN (D-N.Y.). “These claims raise serious constitutional questions about unchecked military activities conducted by the Executive Branch in Syria and Iraq without approval from Congress, and they could lead to actions that prolong the U.S.’s involvement in ‘endless wars’ overseas.” READ MORE

‘This Experience Broke a Lot of People’: Inside State Amid the Afghanistan Withdrawal

In the days after the Taliban took Kabul in August, a desperate Afghan father pleaded over the phone with a State Department official to help get his family out of harm’s way.

On the call, the Washington, D.C.-based State official, manning the phone half a world away from the turmoil, could hear pounding on the man’s door.

“The Taliban, you could hear them in the background. You could hear the women in the house screaming. It was awful,” the official said in an interview. “It’s so scary. You don’t know if you’re going to be on the phone with someone when they get shot. You don’t know if the email you’re getting from that person is going to be the last email from them.” READ MORE