On Thursday, 55 senators, which include eight Republicans, voted for a resolution that would force President Trump to obtain approval from Congress before ordering military activity against Iran.
The eight Republicans were Jerry Moran (R-KS), Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Mike Lee (R-UT), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), Todd C. Young (R-IN), Lamar Alexander (R-TN.), Lamar Alexander (R-TN.) and Rand Paul (R-KY).
The Washington Post noted, “Trump will more than likely veto the measure once it passes the House, and neither chamber of Congress has the votes to override that veto, lawmakers point out.” That is because the 55 votes drop short of a supermajority essential to override a presidential veto.
On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted his disapproval of the resolution, tweeting, “We are doing perfectly with Iran, and this is not the time to show lack of strength. If my hands were tied, Iran might have a field day. Sends a very terrible signal.”
Senator Lindsey Graham warned that Trump might veto the bill, saying, “If this passes, the president will never abide by it — no president would. I want the Iranians to understand, in terms of their provocative behavior, all choices are on the table,” as The New York Times reported.
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell added that the resolution was “deeply flawed,” adding, “It is too blunt and too wide,” as Fox News reported. On Tuesday, McConnell warned the resolution “would severely restrict the U.S. military’s operations overall flexibility to defend itself against threats posed by Iran.”
Bloomberg News added that McConnell posited that after the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, “Washington Democrats immediately recommended President Trump had been leading us into World War III.” He added that the resolution has been a “blunt and clumsy” measure and queried whether it was smart to “let a power like Iran push us around” while China and Russia observed.
The New York Times pointed out, “Last year, Congress cleared a bipartisan measure invoking the War Powers Act that would have cut off American military assistance for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen’s civil war, and a separate measure seeking to curtail the president’s war-making capabilities in Iran ping-ponged between the two chambers, passing the House but not the Senate.”
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said, “We’ve been talking to our constituents, we’ve been listening to them, and we know what they think about another war in the Middle East right now. (Trump’s] got an election that he’s focused entirely on and he wants to win. He could well veto it and then adjust behavior.”
Cassidy stated, “If this resolution were in effect at the beginning of the year, President Trump would have still been able to carry out strikes against Iran and General Soleimani … The founders gave Congress the power to declare war under Article 1 of the Constitution; we should meet this responsibility.”
Last June, Collins, Lee, Paul, and Moran joined Democrats to assist an amendment needing Trump to ask Congress before attacking Iran unless there had been an attack from Iran or an imminent attack that warranted a response from the United States.