Senate votes to limit Trump’s Iran war powers. A veto is likely.

Senate votes to limit Trump's Iran war powers. A veto is likely.


WASHINGTON – Eight Senate Republicans broke with President Donald Trump on Thursday – joining all the chamber’s Democrats to support legislation that would restrict the president’s ability to wage war with Iran.

The 55-45 vote marked a rare bipartisan effort to curb Trump’s powers and underscored lawmakers’ concerns that U.S. tensions with Iran could escalate into a full-fledged war.

Democrats said Congress had to act now to rein in an unpredictable president, arguing Trump brought the United States to the brink of war with Iran when he green-lighted a deadly strike targeting Tehran’s most powerful military leader, Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

“I fear that the president’s erratic decision-making, his lack of strategy, his inability to control his impulses may bumble us into a war… even if he doesn’t intend it,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said during Thursday’s debate.

Most of the Senate’s 53 Republicans voted against the measure, which would direct the president to terminate the use of U.S. military force engaged in “hostilities against Iran” unless explicitly authorized by Congress. 

From left, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speak to reporters just after the Senate advanced a bipartisan resolution asserting that President Donald Trump must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran on Feb. 12, 2020.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday that she would bring the Senate measure up for a House vote later this month. But even if it passes the House, Trump is almost certain to veto it. And there’s little chance that proponents of the measure could get the two-thirds House and Senate super-majority needed to override a veto.

“It is very important for our Country’s SECURITY that the United States Senate not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness.”


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