Senate Democrats eye vote this week on Trump's Iran war powers

Senate Democrats eye vote this week on Trump's Iran war powers
© UPI

Senate Democrats are mulling forcing a debate as soon as Wednesday on 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.

Sen. 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.) said floor action on his resolution could start on Wednesday, with a final vote potentially taking place this week.

The Senate is expected to leave on Thursday for a weeklong President’s Day recess.

ADVERTISEMENT

Asked if the debate started on Wednesday if they would finish before the break, Kaine said “that’s the hope.”

“It’s conceivable that you could get on the bill and then save that for after” the recess, Kaine said. “But I would like to go ahead and get it done.”

Kaine’s resolution would require Trump to withdraw troops from any military hostilities against Iran within 30 days unless he gets congressional approval. 

Four GOP senators — Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCollins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike GOP senator will 'probably' vote for debt limit increase MORE (Maine), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Officials want action on cyberattacks Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook Trump pushes back on book claims, says he spent 'virtually no time' discussing election with Lee, Graham MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 White House debates vaccines for air travel Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken MORE (Ky.) and Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungHow to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) Senate Democrats try to defuse GOP budget drama The 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill MORE (Ind.) — are expected to support the resolution, giving it the 51 votes needed to pass.

Kaine added that there were “dynamics” and “atmospherics” that could result in additional Republicans coming on board, saying he would have “at least” 51 votes. 

“There’s some dynamics in play that might lead there to be more,” Kaine said, while stressing that he was not saying another Republican had told him they would support it. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Kaine’s resolution would first need to be be moved from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to the floor. That hurdle could require 51 votes, though Kaine noted they could skip having a roll call vote.

After that it would still face additional procedural hurdles, and hours of debate, before the Senate got to a final vote.

A vote on the resolution comes after tensions between Tehran and the United States spiked earlier this year before de-escalating.

The House passed its own war powers resolution, but as a concurrent resolution it does not go to Trump’s desk for his signature and traditionally does not have the force of law. 

Kaine’s proposal, which is a joint resolution, would still need to be passed by the House and is all but guaranteed to be vetoed. 

The Senate would not have the 67 votes needed to override Trump’s veto.