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 SandersTrump says he'll watch Democratic debate while en route to Japan 'because I have to' The Hill's Morning Report - Democratic debates: Miami nice or spice? 5 things to watch in the Democratic debates 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 Robert BoltonWho is new White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham? Bolton presses Iran to withdraw forces from Syria, areas of conflict Bolton: Sanctions, other pressure will bring Iran to bargaining table 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 TrumpTrump campaign buys full page ads in Miami newspapers ahead of Dem debates Trump administration's 'forced diplomacy' with Iran isn't working Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama MORE has reportedly told Acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanTrump pick brings scrutiny to 'revolving door' between Pentagon, industry New Defense chief: Our 'priorities remain unchanged' The Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck 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 PelosiTrump knocks Democrats on 'Open Borders' The Hill's Morning Report - Democratic debates: Miami nice or spice? Democrats already jockeying for House leadership posts 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.