The US Senate advanced legislation on Wednesday (Feb 12) meant to limit President Donald Trump's ability to wage war against Iran, paving the way for a final vote as eight Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the war powers resolution.
Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Amazingly, the resolution even had bipartisan backing: Eight Republicans joined the Democrats to pass the measure. Tim Kaine of Virginia, asserts that Trump must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran.
Eight Republican senators broke away from the GOP party line to vote in favor of the resolution to prevent a United States president from initiating foreign wars without Congressional approval. However, it will require a 67-vote supermajority to override Trump's veto. I think it's an unconstitutional intrusion on the ability of any commander in chief to defend the nation, the South Carolina Republican said on the floor.
"I support what the President is doing with our foreign policy", Lee said, adding, "For me, this is about supporting President Trump in his foreign policy, in his effort to make sure that we don't get involved too easily, too quickly, in an unconstitutional way, in any war". If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day.
"This discrete and limited exercise of American power pales in comparison to the ways in which past presidents of both parties have routinely used presidential authorities to utilize our military might without prior consent of Congress", he continued. At Republicans' request, he removed initial language that targeted Trump in favor of a generalized statement declaring that Congress has the sole power to declare war.
The measure was introduced after the White House-approved airstrike killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani following reports that his Quds Force killed an American soldier and was planning attacks on USA assets in the region.
The White House issued an official veto warning Wednesday. "Don't let it happen!".
Tehran responded to the USA attack on Soleimani by launching missiles at two military bases in Iraq that house American troops. The resolution also directs Trump to terminate use of military force against Iran or any part of its government without approval from Congress.
A vote on the war powers resolution could take place as early as Thursday, amid concerns that Trump could embark on open military conflict with Tehran without consulting Congress.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is critical of the resolution.
The Democratic-led House passed a resolution in January after some members of Congress said the White House failed to fully inform them about the Soleimani airstrike.
The House has already voted on a similar resolution, passing it with bipartisan votes in the wake of the administration's targeted killing last month in Iraq with a USA drone of Tehran's top military commander, Qassem Soleimani.