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McConnell urges opposition to effort to constrain Trump's Iran war powers

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Manchin opens door to supporting scaled-down election reform bill Pelosi, Schumer must appoint new commissioners to the CARES Act oversight panel MORE (R-Ky.) is urging senators to reject efforts to rein in President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos MORE's ability to take military action against Iran without congressional approval.

The Senate is expected to vote this week on a resolution from Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineManchin meets with Texas lawmakers on voting rights Overnight Defense: Biden, Putin agree to launch arms control talks at summit | 2002 war authorization repeal will get Senate vote | GOP rep warns Biden 'blood with be on his hands' without Afghan interpreter evacuation Manchin opens door to supporting scaled-down election reform bill MORE (D-Va.) that would require Trump to end any military hostilities against Tehran within 30 days. 

"I will strongly oppose our colleague's effort and urge the Senate to defeat it," McConnell said from the Senate floor. 

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McConnell argued that the Kaine resolution is "blunt and clumsy" and would "severely limit the U.S. military's operational flexibility to defend itself against threats posed by Iran."

"The ill-conceived potshots at presidential authorities in the wake of a strike that succeeded using the blunt instrument of a war powers resolution is no substitute at all for answering these broader questions" on foreign policy strategy, McConnell said. 

The Senate is expected to start debate on the war powers resolution on Wednesday.  

Kaine has the four GOP votes necessary for the resolution to pass initially, with Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate confirms Radhika Fox to lead EPA's water office Pelosi says she's giving Senate more time on Jan. 6 commission Overnight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve MORE (R-Maine), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeBig Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot Matt Stoller says cheerleading industry shows why antitrust laws are 'insufficient' MORE (R-Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul does not support a national minimum wage increase — and it's important to understand why Fauci to Chelsea Clinton: The 'phenomenal amount of hostility' I face is 'astounding' GOP's attacks on Fauci at center of pandemic message MORE (R-Ky.) and Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungOn The Money: Yellen, Powell brush off inflation fears | Fed keeps rates steady, upgrades growth projections Overnight Defense: Biden, Putin agree to launch arms control talks at summit | 2002 war authorization repeal will get Senate vote | GOP rep warns Biden 'blood with be on his hands' without Afghan interpreter evacuation Bipartisan infrastructure group grows to 20 senators MORE (R-Ind.) expected to support it.  

But both Kaine and Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneYellen: Disclosure of tax data to ProPublica a 'very serious situation' Sanders won't vote for bipartisan infrastructure deal Bipartisan infrastructure deal takes fire from left and right MORE (R-S.D.), the chief Senate Republican vote counter, suggested Democrats could pick up additional GOP votes, depending on the final language of the resolution. 

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"I think there's a universe of Republicans depending on how it's drafted that might be inclined to be for some version of that," Thune said. "It's not a big universe of members, but it's probably more than the traditional four." 

Because Democrats are using the War Powers Act, they are able to force a vote on the resolution limiting Trump despite opposition from McConnell and most Republicans. 

The House passed a concurrent resolution earlier this year, but that measure does not go to Trump's desk and traditionally is not legally binding.  

The Senate resolution, which still needs to pass the House, is all but guaranteed to spark a veto from Trump. A veto override attempt would fall short because Democrats would need to pick up 20 GOP votes.