October 25

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Oct 25, 1973:

Nixon vetoes War Powers Resolution

President Nixon vetoes the War Powers Resolution, which would limit presidential power to commit armed forces abroad without Congressional approval.

The bill, introduced by Senator Jacob K. Javits of New York, required the president to report to Congress within 48 hours after commitment of armed forces to foreign combat and limited to 60 days the time they could stay there without Congressional approval. The legislation was an attempt by Congress to regain control of the power to make war. Nixon claimed that the bill imposed "unconstitutional and dangerous restrictions" on presidential authority. Nevertheless, Congress passed the law over Nixon's veto on November 7, 1973.

Also on this day: U.S. intelligence officials report that since the cease-fire, North Vietnamese military presence in South Vietnam had been built up by 70,000 troops, 400 tanks, at least 200 artillery pieces, 15 anti-aircraft artillery, and 12 airfields. Intelligence reports also indicated that an all-weather road from North Vietnam to Tay Ninh province to the north of Saigon had been almost completed. The cease-fire had gone into effect on January 27 at midnight as part of the Paris Peace Accords. The provisions of the cease-fire left over 100,000 Communist troops in South Vietnam. The build-up of these forces did not bode well for the South Vietnamese because the fighting had continued after only a momentary lull when the cease-fire was instituted. Congress was cutting U.S. military aid to South Vietnam while the North Vietnamese forces in the south grew stronger.

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