Senate panel rejects requiring Congress sign off before Iran strike

Senate panel rejects requiring Congress sign off before Iran strike
© Getty
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday rejected a Democratic proposal to require congressional approval before the U.S. can take military action against Iran.
 
The panel voted 13-9 against a proposal blocking the administration from using funding to carry out a military strike in or against Iran without congressional signoff, according to Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyZoom, grocery delivery, self-isolation: How lawmakers are surviving coronavirus Coronavirus watch: Where the virus is spiking across the country New Jersey governor closing parks, forests MORE (D-Conn.), a member of the committee. 
Murphy and Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallSenate Democrats propose ,000 hazard-pay plan for essential workers Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus Democratic senators ask Pompeo to provide coronavirus aid to Palestinian territories MORE (D-N.M.) said earlier Wednesday that they were going to bring up their proposal for a vote in the committee as an amendment to a Syrian foreign policy bill.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
"Congress is a co-equal branch that has the sole authority to declare war – so we don’t have to sit around and watch this administration spiral us into another endless conflict in the Middle East," Udall said in a statement.  
 
Murphy added that Congress should "remind this administration that they do not have legal authorization to launch a war against Iran without our consent and that no one else is responsible but Trump for putting us on this blind campaign of escalation with no off-ramp."
 
The push for a vote comes a day after top members of the administration, including Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoGOP Rep calls for US to bring international case against China over coronavirus Belarus's risky coronavirus strategy House Republicans threaten pushback on Saudi Arabia amid oil market slump MORE and acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanHouse Armed Services chairman expresses confidence in Esper amid aircraft carrier coronavirus crisis Boeing pleads for bailout under weight of coronavirus, 737 fallout Esper's chief of staff to depart at end of January MORE, briefed lawmakers on intelligence detailing recent actions by Iran, as President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal Trump says he'll look into small business loan program restricting casinos MORE and Republicans have warned of a growing threat from Tehran.
 
Shanahan appeared to try to tamp down concerns about a the potential for a military conflict with Iran after the briefing. 
 
"We have deterred attacks based on our reposturing of assets, deterred attacks against American forces," he told reporters. "Our biggest focus at this point is to prevent Iranian miscalculation. We do not want the situation to escalate. This is about deterrence, not about war."