UPDATED 9:43 AM PT — Thursday, February 13, 2020
President Trump is expected to veto a War Powers Resolution, which would limit his ability to take military action against Iran, if the measure is passed in the Senate. This comes after eight Senate Republicans and 43 Democrats voted Wednesday to bring the measure to the Senate floor for a final vote Thursday.
The president has criticized the Democrat proposal and said it’s very important for the country’s security that the Senate not vote in favor of the resolution. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has also urged senators to reject it. The Kentucky lawmaker said it would limit the U.S. military’s ability to defend itself against Iranian threats.
The War Powers resolution was drafted after President Trump green-lit the killing of a top Iranian general last month. The bill would require the president to remove U.S. troops engaged in hostilities against Iran unless Congress signs off on a Declaration of War.
In a series of tweets Wednesday, the president criticized the resolution and said the motion would greatly embolden Iranian aggression in the Middle East.
….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
However, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). has said the resolution is about Congress, not the president.
“Some view this as an effort to tie President Trump’s hands, it’s not really about President Trump,” he stated. “It’s about Congress fully inhabiting our Article One role to declare war and taking that deliberation seriously.”
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) echoed Kaine’s sentiments and claimed the resolution does not make the U.S. appear weak.
“There is abundance support for the United States taking tough positions with regard to Iran and, as part of that, we want to make sure that any military action that needs to be authorized is, in fact, properly authorized by Congress,” he explained. “That doesn’t show weakness, that shows strength and I think that’s the strength that’s going to unfold as we debate this.”
Seven fellow GOP senators have joined Sen. Lee in supporting the resolution, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Despite reaching across the aisle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has urged Republicans to reject the resolution.
“It is dangerously overbroad , an overbroad resolution that should not pass Congress, that is certain to be vetoed if it does,” he stated. “If my colleagues want to make a real difference, this is not the way to go.”
It’s not clear if there will be enough support to override a possible presidential veto.