2020 debates complicate Senate plans for vote on Trump's war authority

Senators are jostling over when to vote on an amendment to a mammoth defense bill that would restrict President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE's ability to take military action against Iran without congressional authorization.

Republicans say they have agreed to hold a vote on the amendment from Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineIran resolution supporters fear impeachment will put it on back burner House war powers sponsor expects to take up Senate version of resolution Sens. Kaine, Lee: 'We should not be at war with Iran unless Congress authorizes it' MORE (D-Va.) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall Democrats vow to force third vote on Trump's border wall emergency declaration Overnight Defense: War powers fight runs into impeachment | Kaine has 51 votes for Iran resolution | Trump plans to divert .2B from Pentagon to border wall MORE (D-N.M.), but accused Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump administration installs plaque marking finish of 100 miles of border wall Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate implications MORE (N.Y.) of playing politics by trying to delay the vote until at least Friday — after the first Democratic presidential debates.
 
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"I'd vote on it in, like, the next 15 minutes, but Sen. Schumer said he wanted to wait until Friday and I don't think we're interested in hanging around waiting on the presidential candidates," said Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' MORE (R-Texas), predicting that the Iran amendment will fail.
 
 
"They want to vote but they also want to be present, so they have to make a decision and the easiest out for them is to choose Friday, which bothers me because I had other plans on Friday," Inhofe said.
 
Democrats have demanded a vote on the amendment from Kaine and Udall, which would block Trump from using government funds to carry out military actions without congressional approval.
 
Schumer argued earlier this week that the vote should take place after the presidential debates, arguing that the fight over Iran is important enough that the whole body should be allowed to be here.
 
He added on Wednesday that both sides are still talking.
 
Asked about the accusations from Republicans that he wants a Friday vote, he argued that the vote couldn't take place Wednesday or Thursday because some senators will be absent.
 
"We can't have the vote Wednesday or Thursday because members are at the debate and that won't be a full Senate, so we're trying to work all this out," Schumer told reporters during a brief hallway interview.
 
The Senate is expected to hold a vote Wednesday afternoon to advance the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the Iran proposal is being offered as an amendment to.
 
Schumer didn't tell reporters if Democrats would support moving forward on the NDAA without an amendment vote time locked in. The caucus has mulled blocking progress on the NDAA without a deal on holding an Iran vote.
 
Kaine, who voted for the NDAA in committee and is sponsoring the Iran amendment, told The Hill that he would not support ending debate on the defense bill unless they could get a vote on his amendment.

“I’m not going to vote to end debate if we don’t get to have a debate on the central issue we should be talking about right now,” Kaine said.