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US Senate Heads for Trump Restrictive Vote on Iran

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan measure limiting President Donald Trump’s power to launch military operations against Iran is in the process of being approved in the Senate.
The resolution, drafted by Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, says that Trump must get congressional approval before engaging in new military action against Iran.
Eight Republicans sided with the Democrats on Wednesday on a procedural motion to force a vote on the matter as early as Thursday.
Kaine and other supporters said the resolution was not about Trump or even the presidency, but rather an important reaffirmation of the power of Congress to declare war.
Responding to an assertion by some Trump supporters – and Trump himself – that the measure sends a signal of weakness to Iran and other potential adversaries, Kaine said the opposite was true.
“When we defend the rule of law – in a world that aspires to more rule of law – and we say:” this decision is fundamental, and we have rules that we will follow so that we can make a good decision ” is a message of strength, “said Kaine on Wednesday.
Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee agreed. Lee supports Trump’s foreign policy – including toward Iran – but said that Congress cannot escape its constitutional responsibility for acting on war and peace.
“What the American people and the world will see from the debate that we are about to have in the Senate is that the United States abundantly supports the difficult positions with regard to Iran,” said Wednesday Lee. “And as part of that, we want to make sure that any military action that needs to be authorized is actually properly authorized by Congress. This does not show weakness. It shows strength. ″ »
While Trump and other presidents “must still have the ability to defend the United States from an impending attack, the executive to start the war stops there,” said Kaine. “An offensive war requires debate and a vote in Congress. ”
The principle of congressional approval is established for an important reason, said Kaine. “If we are to order our young men and women … to risk their lives in wartime, this should be done on the basis of careful deliberation on the part of the people’s elected legislature and not on the saying of ‘a single person. ”
Trump disputed this, arguing in two tweets on Wednesday that a vote against Kaine’s proposal was important to national security and pointed to the January 3 drone strike that killed Iranian high general Qassem Soleimani.
“We are doing very well with Iran and now is not the time to be weak. The Americans overwhelmingly support our attack on the terrorist Soleimani, “said Trump. “If my hands were tied, Iran would have a day on the ground. Send a very bad signal. Democrats do this only to try to embarrass the Republican Party. Don’t let this happen! ”
Tehran responded to the American attack on Soleimani by launching missiles at two military bases in Iraq that house American troops. The attack caused traumatic brain damage to at least 64 American soldiers, the Pentagon said.
Democrats and Republicans criticized a Trump administration briefing shortly after the drone struck, claiming that U.S. officials have given vague information about a possible planned attack by Iran, but no substantive details.
Kaine has long spurred action by reaffirming the power of Congress to declare war. At the request of the Republicans, he removed the original language targeting Trump in favour of a blanket declaration that Congress had the exclusive power to declare war. The resolution also orders Trump to end the use of military force against Iran or any part of its government without congressional approval.
Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, co-sponsor, called the resolution “necessary and long overdue,” adding that in the past decade, “Congress has too often abdicated its constitutional responsibility to authorize use.” lasting military force.”
Senate majority chief Mitch McConnell and many other Republicans oppose the resolution, saying it would send the wrong message to the American allies.
The Democrat-controlled House adopted a separate, non-binding resolution on war powers last month. If the Senate approves the Kaine measure, the House could pass the Senate resolution earlier.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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