Senate panel rejects requiring Congress sign off before Iran strike

Senate panel rejects requiring Congress sign off before Iran strike
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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 MurphyTensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum Nadler gets under GOP's skin Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial MORE (D-Conn.), a member of the committee. 
Murphy and Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallIt is time for companies and governments to holistically tackle single-use plastics Citizens United decision weathers 10 years of controversy Overnight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall 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.
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"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 PompeoThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' Overnight Defense: Trump downplays troops' concussion injuries in Iran attack | Dems offer case against Trump on day two of trial | UN links Saudis to hack of Bezos' phone Pompeo willing to testify in impeachment trial if 'legally required' MORE and acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanEsper's chief of staff to depart at end of January Defense chief calls on European allies to be wary of China's investments, blasts Russia Pentagon chief approves 20 more miles of border wall MORE, briefed lawmakers on intelligence detailing recent actions by Iran, as President TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial 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."