UPDATED 3:50 PM PT — Sunday, January 5, 2020
Senate Democrats are seeking to curb President Trump’s war powers in retaliation for his initiation of the drone strike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
Sen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Tim Kaine are cosponsoring a resolution that would force the administration to withdraw all troops from Iran, unless Congress itself declares war.
“I will file a resolution, pursuant to the War Powers Act of 1974, to try to force Congress to have a debate about whether or not it is in the United States’ best interest to be in a war with Iran,” stated Durbin. “We can’t let the president make this decision on his own.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer touched on the issue in a weekend interview, where he exploded on the president and accused him of acting on impulse.
“Congress and I will do everything I can to assert our authority. We do not need this president…impulsively getting us into a major war. The reason the Founding Fathers said Congress had to okay it is because that’s a check on a president who is doing so many wrong things.”
– Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senate Minority Leader
Lawmakers on the left fear Soleimani’s death will trigger a major military clash. The House is planning to force a vote in the Senate. Since the War Powers resolution is privileged, the full Congress will have to vote on the initiative, even if only one chamber supports Kaine’s resolution.
The president will likely veto the measure once it reaches his desk. Democrats are not expected to have the two-thirds majority needed in both chambers to override that veto.
Many Republicans have come out in support of the president and have said he was justified in making the drone strike against Soleimani. Democrats, on the other hand, have claimed President Trump has not given a satisfactory legal justification for the strike.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s setting up a classified briefing to go over the details of the strike sometime next week.