Case–Church Amendment

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Case–Church Amendment
Great Seal of the United States
Other short titlesCase–Church Amendment of 1973
Long titleA joint resolution making continuing appropriations for the fiscal year 1974, and for other purposes.
Enacted bythe 93rd United States Congress
EffectiveJuly 1, 1973
Public law93-52
Statutes at Large87 Stat. 130
Titles amended22 U.S.C.: Foreign Relations and Intercourse
U.S.C. sections amended22 U.S.C. ch. 32 §§ 2151, 2751
Legislative history

The Case–Church Amendment was legislation attached to a bill funding the U.S. State Department. It was approved by the U.S. Congress in June 1973 and prohibited further U.S. military activity in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia unless the president secured Congressional approval in advance.[1] This ended direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War, although the U.S. continued to provide military equipment and economic support to the South Vietnamese government. It is named for its principal co-sponsors, Senators Clifford P. Case (R–NJ) and Frank Church (D–ID).

The amendment was defeated 48–42 in the U.S. Senate in August 1972, but revived after the 1972 election. It was reintroduced on January 26, 1973 and approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 13.[2] When it became apparent that the amendment would pass, President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger,[3] lobbied frantically to have the deadline extended.[4]

However, under pressure from the extreme scrutiny of Watergate, Republicans relented on support for South Vietnam, and the amendment passed the United States Congress in June 1973 by a margin of 325–86 in the House, 73–16 in the Senate.[5][6] Both of these margins for the amendment's passage were greater than the two-thirds majority required to override a presidential veto,[5] and Nixon signed it on July 1, 1973.

Although U.S. forces had been withdrawn from South Vietnam in March 1973 pursuant to the Paris Peace Accords, air support and monetary support for Cambodia and Laos continued until August 15, 1973, the deadline set by the amendment.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Madden, Richard L. (June 15, 1973). "Sweeping cutoff of funds for war is voted in Senate". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Bresler, Jon, "A Precedent for Cutting Funding and Ending the War in Iraq"
  3. ^ Prados, John. Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945–1975. University Press of Kansas, 2009, p. 529.
  4. ^ Karnow, Stanley Vietnam: A History, p. 671. (1991).
  5. ^ a b "The Vietnam War The Bitter End 1969 - 1975 (timeline)". The history place. Retrieved September 5, 2006.
  6. ^ Peters, Gerhard; Woolley, John T. "Richard Nixon: "Statement on Signing the Second Supplemental and Continuing Appropriations Bills.," July 1, 1973". The American Presidency Project. University of California - Santa Barbara. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  7. ^ Rowley, Ralph A (2013). Close Air Support In Vietnam. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-939335-12-8.