Published: Thu, February 13, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

US Senate advances resolution limiting Trump's ability to wage war

US Senate advances resolution limiting Trump's ability to wage war

President Donald Trump doubled down Wednesday on his claims of unilateral power to wage war with a tweet urging the Senate not to pass the Iran War Powers Resolution.

"It is very important for our Country's SECURITY that the United States Senate not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution".

In fact, that was one of the many rationales that White House officials offered for the Soleimani assassination in January - Trump even at one point suggested Soleimani was plotting to strike as many as four USA embassies.

Kaine's resolution is privileged under the 1973 War Powers Act, which means the Virginia Democrat is able to force a debate and vote on it with only a majority of votes, rather than the more common 60-vote threshold for legislative measures.

The eight Republicans voting in support of proceeding to debate on the measure were Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Todd Young of Indiana, Mike Lee of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

Other Democratic senators touted the measure on social media, including Sen. "This is entirely consistent with his policy".

Despite bipartisan backing, the resolution is unlikely to garner enough support from members of Trump's party to overcome a veto if it does reach his desk. Tim Kaine, D-Va., would require the president to cease all hostilities targeting Iran within 30 days unless explicitly approved by Congress.

It includes a provision stating that no part of the resolution "shall be construed to prevent the United States from defending itself from imminent attack".

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"This resolution is about Congress reclaiming its rightful role in decisions about war", Kaine said Wednesday on the Senate floor.

In such a scenario, it is possible that the House could use its power of the purse to defund American military operations against Iran and thus force the president to bring the troops home.

"Clearly, this resolution is not ready for prime time", McConnell said on the Senate floor Wednesday.

The resolution was proposed in the aftermath of Trump's decision to launch an airstrike last month that resulted in the death of Qasem Soleimani, leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Senate action on the war powers resolution follows a number of votes in the House of Representatives aimed at addressing rising tensions with Iran.

"If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day", he said.

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 US assets in the region. It has not exercised that power since WWII, however; the current "War on Terror" is based on two open-ended authorizations for use of military force (AUMF), dating back to 2001 and 2002. "Sends a very bad signal".

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