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Senate Moves to Limit Trump on Striking Iran

Senate Moves to Limit Trump on Striking Iran

Friday, 14 February, 2020 - 06:00
US President Donald Trump listens to questions while meeting with Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, US, February 12, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
Washington - Asharq Al-Awsat

The US Senate passed legislation on Thursday to limit President Donald Trump's ability to wage war against Iran, weeks after the killing of Iran’s Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani.

Eight of Trump's fellow Republicans joined Democrats to pass the war powers resolution authored by Democratic Senator Tim Kaine 55-45.

While warning of dire consequences of an escalating conflict with Iran, Kaine said his main point was to restore the authority of Congress to declare war, as spelled out in the US Constitution.

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 in a speech on the Senate floor.  "An offensive war requires a congressional debate and vote.''

The resolution makes an exception if the United States is "defending itself from an imminent act."

Trump has argued on Twitter that a vote against Kaine's proposal was important to national security and pointed to the Jan. 3 drone strike that killed Soleimani in Iraq.

Trump promised a veto.

But Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer said after the vote that the Senate “sent a clear shot across the bow -- a bipartisan majority of senators don't want the president waging war without congressional approval.”

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