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 hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' Trump hits polling on Fox News: 'Something weird going on at Fox' 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black 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 Robert BoltonTensions with Iran reach new stage over uranium threat Tensions with Iran reach new stage over uranium threat The Hill's Morning Report - Is US weighing military action against Iran? 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 says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants MORE has reportedly told Acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanUS to send 1K additional troops to Middle East amid Iran tensions US to send 1K additional troops to Middle East amid Iran tensions Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments 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 PelosiCalifornia Democrat in swing district calls for Trump impeachment inquiry California Democrat in swing district calls for Trump impeachment inquiry Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments 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.