As many as eight GOP senators expected to vote to curb Trump's power to attack Iran

The Senate is set to pass on Thursday a bipartisan resolution to limit President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE’s ability to take military action against Iran, handing the president a rebuke on foreign policy a week after voting to acquit him in his impeachment trial. 

As many as eight Republicans are expected to vote for the resolution, which directs the president to terminate the use of the U.S. armed forces in hostilities against Iran.   

They are Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeBipartisan representatives demand answers on expired surveillance programs McConnell shores up GOP support for coronavirus package McConnell tries to unify GOP MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Rand Paul says he can't judge 'guilt or innocence' in Breonna Taylor case Overnight Health Care: Health officials tell public to trust in science | Despair at CDC under Trump influence | A new vaccine phase 3 trial starts MORE (Ky.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power Billionaire who donated to Trump in 2016 donates to Biden Credit union group to spend million on Senate, House races MORE (Maine), Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungSenate GOP eyes early exit Why the US should rely more on strategy, not sanctions Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump MORE (Ind.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranLobbying world This World Suicide Prevention Day, let's recommit to protecting the lives of our veterans Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg acknowledges failure to take down Kenosha military group despite warnings | Election officials push back against concerns over mail-in voting, drop boxes MORE (Kan.), Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderGraham: GOP has votes to confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Washington on edge amid SCOTUS vacancy This week: Supreme Court fight over Ginsburg's seat upends Congress's agenda MORE (Tenn.), Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyCoushatta tribe begins long road to recovery after Hurricane Laura Senators offer disaster tax relief bill Bottom line MORE (La.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOVERNIGHT ENERGY:  House passes sweeping clean energy bill | Pebble Mine CEO resigns over secretly recorded comments about government officials  | Corporations roll out climate goals amid growing pressure to deliver The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Abortion stirs GOP tensions in Supreme Court fight MORE (Alaska).

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All eight voted Wednesday afternoon, along with 43 Democrats, to bring the measure to the floor. Three members of the Democratic caucus who are running for president — Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Democratic senators ask inspector general to investigate IRS use of location tracking service MORE (D-Mass.), Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Social media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight MORE (D-Miss.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power Bernie Sanders: 'This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump stokes fears over November election outcome MORE (I-Vt.) — missed the procedural vote. They are expected to be back on Thursday for the final up and down vote. 

Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' Senate Democrats demand White House fire controversial head of public lands agency Next crisis, keep people working and give them raises MORE (D-Colo.), who ended his presidential campaign on Tuesday, also missed the procedural vote. 

Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Democrats call for declassifying election threats after briefing by Trump officials Buttigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice MORE (D-Va.) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Feinstein 'surprised and taken aback' by suggestion she's not up for Supreme Court fight Grand jury charges no officers in Breonna Taylor death MORE (D-Ill.) introduced the resolution after Trump in January ordered a drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force.

The attack prompted a retaliatory Iranian missile strike against two bases in Iraq that house U.S. troops, more than 100 of whom were left with brain injuries.

The unexpected move to take out Soleimani, a revered figure in Iran, was seen by many experts as a provocation that could lead to a wider regional conflict. It put Congress in a state of high alert until Trump tweeted that he did not expect any further escalation.

Republican senators who support the resolution have taken pains to remove references to Trump, in order to avoid the appearance of taking a shot at the president.

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But their defiance shows that foreign policy has become a major source of friction between the president and some members of his party.

Senate Republican Whip John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenate passes resolution reaffirming commitment to peaceful transition of power Susan Collins faces political land mine with Supreme Court fight Abortion stirs GOP tensions in Supreme Court fight MORE (S.D.) said, “You’ve got members of ours who traditionally have held the view that you don’t want to be involved in foreign entanglements.” 

“And then we got other members ... who think that constitutionally Congress needs to claw back some more of the powers we’ve given up to the executive when it comes to where and when we deploy American power around the world,” he said.

“It’s evidence that there are folks in our caucus who on foreign policy and national security matters come down in a slightly different place,” he added.

The wave of GOP defections is all the more remarkable after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power MORE (R-Ky.) came out strongly in opposition to the measure.

The GOP leader on Tuesday called the resolution “deeply flawed on a number of levels.” 

He called it an overly aggressive interpretation of the 1974 War Powers Act that would go too far in tying the president’s hands in responding to national security threats.

“It is too blunt and too broad. It is also an abuse of the War Powers Act, which was designed to strike a balance between the President’s constitutional war powers and Congress’s own war powers and oversight responsibilities,” McConnell said on the floor.

McConnell drew a parallel between the Democratic effort to impeach Trump and remove him from office to this week’s attempt to limit his war powers.

“No patience for ordinary oversight; just rush to grab the bluntest tool available to make a political statement against the president,” he said.

“Well, this war powers debate bears an eerie resemblance to that pattern,” he added, referring to the recently concluded impeachment effort.

While Republican lawmakers have been reluctant to criticize Trump’s conduct — as evidenced by all but one GOP senator voting to acquit the president on both articles of impeachment — they have been more willing to fight over the balance of power between the White House and Congress.

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Young, a Republican co-sponsor of the resolution, said, “I think it’s important that Congress consistently affirm our support for our troops. There’s no better way to do that than casting our vote to authorize force when necessary.”

The Senate voted in March to direct the president to stop U.S. military support of a Saudi-backed coalition fighting in the civil war in Yemen.  Seven Republicans broke party ranks to support the resolution: Lee, Collins, Moran, Murkowski, Paul, Young and Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power Credit union group to spend million on Senate, House races Trump seeks to turn around campaign with Supreme Court fight MORE (R-Mont.).

Daines, who is up for reelection this year in a solidly pro-Trump state, is the only Republican who has dropped off the bloc of GOP senators who want to rein in the president’s war-making powers.   

Although Trump vetoed last year’s resolution, proponents of the measure argued it had an effect because the administration stopped refueling Saudi warplanes after Congress acted. 

Thursday’s rebuke of Trump’s war powers vis-a-vis Iran will, too, be viewed as largely symbolic.

Trump is expected to veto the measure, and GOP leaders say there aren’t 67 votes in the upper chamber to override him. A similar bill passed earlier this year by the House is a concurrent resolution and will not go to Trump’s desk.

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“They’re not going to be at the requisite number to actually succeed in the end,” said Thune.

Paul, a staunch Trump ally, says he is motivated to restore Congress’s constitutional powers. 

He argues that the White House merely feels obliged to consult with Congress ahead of a major military action and doesn’t feel any real constraint from launching strikes.

“It’s not supposed to be about advice, it’s supposed to be about permission. The Constitution says we go to war with the permission of Congress,” Paul said.

Paul believes it’s important to retrench the president’s war powers after an authorization for the use of military force passed by Congress shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks has been used to justify hostilities around the world for nearly 20 years.

The 2001 authorization states the “president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred.”

“When we went to war in 2001, it was very clear cut. It was sixty words. It says nothing about association forces. It says nothing about 50 different wars in Africa or throughout the Middle East,” Paul said.