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Trump War Power Against Iran Limited by Senate

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Trump War Power Against Iran is restricted by the Senate passing a military authority resolution on Thursday, a rare rebuke and effort to reassert Congress’ authority.

The Senate on Thursday stated a decision limiting President Donald Trump’s authority to attack Iran without congressional approval, delivering the president another bipartisan foreign-policy to reprimand and flexing its lawful power over military actions.

The vote was 55-45. Eight Republicans voted in favor of it: Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Todd Young of Indiana, Mike Lee of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Jerry Moran of Kansas.

The President warned the Senate not to green-light the measure on Wednesday, on Twitter that “it is very important for our country’s security that the United States Senate not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution,” and continuing, “If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day.”

The Trump war power limitation vote came almost six weeks after Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general killing, who led the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds force.

The strike drew instant condemnation from Democrats and some Republicans, and it prompted Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) to introduce a War Powers resolution aimed at re-asserting Congress’ constitutional authority to declare war.

Senate passes Trump War Power resolution despite president's opposition
National Public Radio

War Power Against Iran

“After many decades of abdicating responsibility, under presidents of both parties, it is time for Congress to take this so very seriously,” Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia and the lead sponsor of the measure, stated.

“We need a Congress that will fully inhabit the Article I powers,” Mr. Kaine continued, relating to the portion of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to declare war. “That’s what our troops and their families deserve.”

“The resolution just says no war with Iran, unless you come and make that case to Congress. And if you make the case to Congress, in front of the American people, and we all have the discussion, ask the tough questions and conclude, sadly, it’s in the national interest, that’s one thing,” Kaine declared. “But if we’re not even willing to have that discussion, we shouldn’t be forcing people to risk their lives.”

Mr. Trump viewed the resolution as a personal affront, and on Wednesday urged Republicans to reject it, framing the measure as a dangerous show of timidity and an attempt by Democrats to “embarrass the Republican Party.”

“We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness,” Mr. Trump Tweeted, continuing: “If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal.”

Debate on the resolution of last month

“They were in the process of telling us that we need to be good little boys and girls and not debate this in public,” Mr. Lee stated, emerging red-faced from the briefing. “I find that absolutely insane. It’s un-American, it’s unconstitutional and it’s wrong.”

Debate on the Trump war power resolution, which limits the war against Iran, comes in the wake of a divisive Trump impeachment trial in the Senate. Which temporarily put consideration of the measure on hold as it hindered other legislative business while the proceedings. This ended in the acquittal of the President, played out.

Kaine introduced the war powers resolution last month following the President’s decision to order a strike that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, which could lead to possible world war.

“We want to make sure that any military action that needs to be authorized is in fact authorized properly by Congress,” Mr. Lee stated. “That doesn’t show weakness; that shows strength.”

The House passed a similar resolution last month, though since the structure and text of the Senate resolution is not identical, Trump War Power resolution introduced by Kaine would need to be voted on by the House after it gets a Senate vote before going to the President’s desk.

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