Sanders introduces petition to prohibit war with Iran without Congress' approval

Sanders introduces petition to prohibit war with Iran without Congress' approval
© Greg Nash

Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters MORE (I-Vt.) launched a petition Thursday to "tell Congress to pass legislation that would prohibit military action against Iran without Congressional approval."

"Unfortunately for this president and people like [National Security Adviser] John BoltonJohn BoltonRomney: 'It's very likely I'll be in favor of witnesses' in Trump impeachment trial George Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump Democrats see Mulvaney as smoking gun witness at Trump trial MORE who love endless wars, the constitutional authority for declaring war rests with the United States Congress — not the president –– no matter if that president is a Democrat or a Republican," Sanders said in a campaign email to supporters.

"It is long past time my colleagues in the Senate reassert that authority," he added. "It is something we must do again as the president marches us toward war with Iran." 

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The petition also asked signers to contribute to Sanders' campaign.

Tensions between the U.S. and the Middle Eastern nation have escalated in recent weeks. President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE has reportedly told Acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanEsper's chief of staff to depart at end of January Defense chief calls on European allies to be wary of China's investments, blasts Russia Pentagon chief approves 20 more miles of border wall MORE that he does not want the U.S. to go to war with Iran despite calls from some advisers. Earlier this week, Trump denied a report that his administration is working on a plan to deploy 120,000 troops to the Middle East, but said he would “absolutely” send them if it were necessary. 

Congressional leaders Thursday also received a confidential briefing in Iran. House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiClinton says Zuckerberg has 'authoritarian' views on misinformation Trump defense team signals focus on Schiff Trump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president MORE (D-Calif.) made remarks similar to Sanders' sentiments Thursday, telling reporters that "the responsibility in the Constitution is for Congress to declare war." 

"I hope that the president's advisers recognize they have no authorization to go forward in any way," she said. 

Sanders is among more than 20 people competing for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination.