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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief agreement | Weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million for first time since March | Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' Overnight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal MORE (R-Ky.) is urging senators to reject efforts to rein in President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary 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 KaineSenate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris launch Trump offensive in first joint appearance The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The choice: Biden-Harris vs. Trump-Pence 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 CollinsSusan Collins asks postmaster general to address delays of 'critically needed mail' Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal Trump: GOP senators who don't embrace him will 'lose their elections' MORE (R-Maine), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Overnight Defense: Air Force general officially becomes first African American service chief | Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure | State Department's special envoy for Iran is departing the Trump administration Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure MORE (R-Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulWatchdog calls for probe into Gohmert 'disregarding public health guidance' on COVID-19 Massie plans to donate plasma after testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies After trillions in tax cuts for the rich, Republicans refuse to help struggling Americans MORE (R-Ky.) and Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Republicans dismiss Trump proposal to delay election Senate GOP posts M quarter haul as candidates, Trump struggle MORE (R-Ind.) expected to support it.  

But both Kaine and Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneTrump plans to accept Republican nomination from White House lawn Hillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations Republican senators call on FTC to investigate TikTok over data collection concerns 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.