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 TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe 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 KainePanic begins to creep into Democratic talks on Biden agenda Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B Democrats confront 'Rubik's cube on steroids' MORE (D-Va.) and Tom UdallTom UdallOvernight Defense: Milley reportedly warned Trump against Iran strikes | Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer killed in Afghanistan | 70 percent of active-duty military at least partially vaccinated Biden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Senate Democrats befuddled by Joe Manchin MORE (D-N.M.), but accused Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats' do-or-die moment Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Progressives push for fossil subsidy repeal in spending bill 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 CornynSenate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook Democrats up ante in risky debt ceiling fight Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan 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.