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 SandersWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio New study: Full-scale 'Medicare for All' costs trillion over 10 years 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 BoltonOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump isolated amid Syria furor | Pompeo, Pence to visit Turkey in push for ceasefire | Turkish troops advance in Syria | Graham throws support behind Trump's sanctions Democrats see John Bolton as potential star witness Syria furor underscores Trump's isolation 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 TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE has reportedly told Acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanDefense chief calls on European allies to be wary of China's investments, blasts Russia Pentagon chief approves 20 more miles of border wall Why Dave Norquist is the perfect choice for DOD's deputy secretary 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-GOP tensions over Syria show signs of easing Democratic debate starts with immediate question on Trump impeachment White House, Pentagon, Giuliani reject House subpoenas 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.