Senate moves to limit Trump on military force against Iran

President Trump is expected to veto the motion as soon as it reaches his desk.

By Associated Press

The Senate approved a bipartisan measure Thursday aimed at limiting President Donald Trump’s authority to launch military operations against Iran, with eight Republicans joining Democrats in a post-impeachment bid to constrain the White House.

Trump is expected to veto the war powers resolution if it reaches his desk, warning that if his “hands were tied, Iran would have a field day.’”

The measure, authored by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., says Trump must win approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran. Kaine and other supporters said the resolution, which passed 55-45, was not about Trump or even the presidency, but instead was an important reassertion of congressional power to declare war.

While Trump and other presidents “must always have the ability to defend the United States from imminent attack, the executive power to initiate war stops there,″ Kaine said. “An offensive war requires a congressional debate and vote.″

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a co-sponsor, called the resolution “much needed and long overdue.″ In recent decades, “Congress has too often abdicated its constitutional responsibility on authorizing the sustained use of military force,″ she said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. and many other Republicans opposed the resolution, saying it would send the wrong message to U.S. allies. “Just as we have successfully sent Iran this strong signal of our strength and resolve (by killing that country’s top general), a blunt and clumsy war powers resolution would tie our own hands,” McConnell said.

The Senate vote comes after the Pentagon announced earlier this week that over 100 U.S. servicemen have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries following an Iranian missile attack against U.S. troops stationed at al-Asad Air Base in Iraq on Jan. 8.