Senate sends a bipartisan rebuke to Trump over Iran

Senate sends a bipartisan rebuke to Trump over Iran
President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, senior White House advisors and senior military personnel, delivers remarks during a national televised address Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, from the Cross Hall of the White House, responding to the retaliatory missile strikes against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq on Tuesday by the Islamic Republic of Iran. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

A bipartisan majority of the Senate took a stand against President Donald Trump on Thursday by passing a resolution to block him from using military force against Iran without proper congressional authorization.

The House of Representatives has already passed a related measure, which was supported by a small number of Republicans and the vast majority of Democrats.

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia was the primary leader behind the Senate resolution after Trump assassinated Iranian military official Qassim Suleimani. The resolution passed 55-45.

The eight Republicans supporting the measure were Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Raul of Kentucky, Todd Young of Indiana, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. All Democrats also vote in favor of the resolution. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had fought against its passage.

Without a two-thirds majority vote, Congress will be unable to overcome Trump's inevitable veto.

Still, the bipartisan vote in favor of the resolution showed a surprising number of Republican senators were willing to stand up to the president after all but Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah voted to acquit him in the impeachment trial last week.

Trump himself urged the Senate not to rein him in. On Wednesday, he tweeted:

But Kaine disagreed.

"We don’t send a message of weakness when we stand up for the rule of law in a world that hungers for more rule of law," he said. "We need a Congress that will fully inhabit the Article I powers."

Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California, a passionate anti-war advocate, said Congress should go further and repeal the Authorizations of Military Force that were passed under President George W. Bush and are still used to justify military operations overseas.

"We can’t afford a reckless, unauthorized, and illegal war with Iran. I’m glad the Senate stood up to Trump’s warmongering and passed the War Powers Resolution – but we need to go further and repeal the 2001 & 2002 AUMFs," she said in a tweet.

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