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 TrumpTrump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100K coronavirus deaths DOJ: George Floyd death investigation a 'top priority' Lifting our voices — and votes 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 LeeThis week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House's proxy voting White House withdraws ATF nominee after GOP pushback Hillicon Valley: Commerce announces new Huawei restrictions | Russian meddling report round five | Google's ad business in spotlight MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump urges GOP to vote against bill reauthorizing surveillance powers Sunday shows preview: States begin to reopen even as some areas in US see case counts increase Congress headed toward unemployment showdown MORE (Ky.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump administration gives renewables more time to take advantage of tax credits Soured on Fox, Trump may be seeking new propaganda outlet The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former NIC Director Greg Treverton rips US response; WHO warns of 'immediate second peak' if countries reopen too quickly MORE (Maine), Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungHillicon Valley: House FISA bill in jeopardy | Democrats drop controversial surveillance measure | GOP working on legislation to strip Twitter of federal liability protections GOP senators urge Trump not to restrict guest worker visas Lawmakers introduce bill to invest 0 billion in science, tech research MORE (Ind.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranMemorial Day during COVID-19: How to aid our country's veterans Pass the Primary Care Enhancement Act Hillicon Valley: Facebook permanently shifting thousands of jobs to remote work | Congressional action on driverless cars hits speed bump during pandemic | Republicans grill TikTok over data privacy concerns MORE (Kan.), Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSoured on Fox, Trump may be seeking new propaganda outlet Senators weigh traveling amid coronavirus ahead of Memorial Day McConnell gives two vulnerable senators a boost with vote on outdoor recreation bill MORE (Tenn.), Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US virus deaths exceed 100,000; Pelosi pulls FISA bill Stakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff Pass the Primary Care Enhancement Act MORE (La.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump administration gives renewables more time to take advantage of tax credits GOP senators urge Trump not to restrict guest worker visas Republicans push for help for renewable energy, fossil fuel industries 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 WarrenLongtime Democratic pollster: Warren 'obvious solution' for Biden's VP pick The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US virus deaths exceed 100,000; Pelosi pulls FISA bill Warren's VP bid faces obstacle: Her state's Republican governor MORE (D-Mass.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharLongtime Democratic pollster: Warren 'obvious solution' for Biden's VP pick Warren's VP bid faces obstacle: Her state's Republican governor Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 MORE (D-Miss.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden will help close out Texas Democrats' virtual convention: report Senate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton 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 BennetSenate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply Congress headed toward unemployment showdown Fight emerges over unemployment benefits in next relief bill MORE (D-Colo.), who ended his presidential campaign on Tuesday, also missed the procedural vote. 

Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineBipartisan senators introduce bill to make changes to the Paycheck Protection Program Overnight Defense: National Guard chief negative in third coronavirus test | Pentagon IG probing Navy's coronavirus response | Democrats blast use of Russia deterrence funds on border wall Overnight Defense: Navy secretary nominee: Service in 'rough waters' after 'failure of leadership'| Senate fails to override Trump's Iran war powers veto| Top Armed Services Republican expects to address Pentagon border wall funds in defense policy bill MORE (D-Va.) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinFrustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply Democratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight 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 ThuneFrustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US death toll nears 100,000 as country grapples with reopening GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill 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 McConnellMcConnell urges people to wear masks: 'There's no stigma' Frustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  Lack of child care poses major hurdle as businesses reopen 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 DainesPelosi pulls vote on FISA bill after Trump veto threat FISA 'reform': Groundhog Day edition Hillicon Valley: House FISA bill in jeopardy | Democrats drop controversial surveillance measure | GOP working on legislation to strip Twitter of federal liability protections 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.