The Senate passed a War Powers resolution on Thursday that would require President Donald Trump to obtain approval from Congress if he were to continue hostilities with Iran beyond 30 days.
The Senate voted to approve the resolution with bipartisan support, with 55 senators in favor and 45 against the measure.
The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), requires the president to stop any hostilities with Iran within 30 days unless Congress approves further action. Politico expects the House to approve the resolution.
“War is the most solemn responsibility we have, and it cannot be outsourced to anyone,” Kaine said ahead of the vote on the War Powers resolution. “We have a special obligation to make sure we deliberate — and deliberate carefully — before we send troops into harm’s way.”
Eight Senate Republicans voted to support the War Powers resolution, including Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Todd Young (R-IN), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Mike Lee (R-UT).
Cassidy said that he supported the resolution to reassert Congress’s constitutional authority to declare war and emphasized that Trump would have been able to strike Iran and Iranian top military commander Qasem Soleimani with this resolution.
The Louisiana conservative said:
This resolution protects our constitutional system of checks and balances while allowing presidents to defend our country from attacks. If this resolution was in effect at the beginning of the year, President Trump would have still been able to carry out strikes against Iran and General Soleimani (which I supported). The founders gave Congress the power to declare war under Article 1 of the Constitution; we should fulfill this responsibility.
Paul said that the resolution would restrain presidents from engaging in unnecessary conflict that might endanger America’s soldiers.
I’m headed to the senate floor to speak. The debate over War Powers is bigger than any one Senator, bigger than any one President, bigger than any political party.
For me this debate is not about party. I have supported the Constitutional mandate that Congress must declare war under both Democrat and Republican Presidents and I will continue. For me this debate is not a dry and esoteric debate, it is a debate about life and death.
It is a debate that more than any other debate embodies our commitment to our soldiers. It is a debate that strikes at the heart of our duty to do everything possible to protect human life.
look forward to standing arm in arm across the political divide to welcome our brave soldiers home. Until that day, I will continue to fight for the truth that great nations don’t fight perpetual war.
I look forward to standing arm in arm across the political divide to welcome our brave soldiers home. Until that day, I will continue to fight for the truth that great nations don’t fight perpetual war.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 12, 2020
President Trump urged the Senate on Wednesday not to vote for the War Powers Resolution, claiming that it would undermine his ability to counter any possible Iranian threats.
“We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness. Americans overwhelmingly support our attack on terrorist Soleimani,” the president tweeted.
He added, “If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don’t let it happen!”
….If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don’t let it happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.