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Dems pick up new GOP support to rein in Trump's Iran war powers

Dems pick up new GOP support to rein in Trump's Iran war powers
© Greg Nash
Democrats picked up another GOP vote ahead of a showdown on President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE's ability to take military action against Iran without congressional signoff. 
 
 
“The Constitution, in Article I, provides Congress the power to declare war – a responsibility I take seriously," Moran said in a statement. "The prospect of military action against Iran has consequences that ought to be considered by the full Congress, on behalf of the people it represents."
 
"In supporting the War Powers Resolution, I respect the President’s obligation to defend against imminent threats while making sure any additional action is properly debated and approved by Congress as required by the Constitution," he added. 
 
Moran is the fifth GOP senator to say they will vote for the resolution, which needs only a simple majority to pass. GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCollins urges Biden to revisit order on US-Canada border limits Media circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden Why the 'Never-Trumpers' flopped MORE (Maine), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Key vote for Haaland's confirmation | Update on oil and gas leasing | SEC update on climate-related risk disclosure requirements Haaland on drilling lease moratorium: 'It's not going to be a permanent thing' Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Health Care: 50 million coronavirus vaccines given | Pfizer news | Biden health nominees Rand Paul criticized for questioning of transgender health nominee Haley isolated after Trump fallout MORE (Ky.) and Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungGraham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers Republican 2024 hopefuls draw early battle lines for post-Trump era MORE (Ind.) are also expected to support it.
 
The resolution would require Trump to remove U.S. troops "engaged in hostilities" against Iran unless Congress signs off with a declaration of war or a specific authorization for use of military force.
 
Democrats said they would force the vote after Trump launched an airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, which sparked a quick escalation of tensions between Iran and the United States. Moran noted in his statement that he believed Trump "was justified in his decision to remove Soleimani from the battlefield."   
 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe bizarre back story of the filibuster The Bible's wisdom about addressing our political tribalism Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (R-Ky.) urged senators to oppose the resolution, calling it "blunt and clumsy" and arguing that it would "severely limit the U.S. military's operational flexibility to defend itself against threats posed by Iran."
 
But Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneAfter vote against coronavirus relief package, Golden calls for more bipartisanship in Congress Graham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents Cruz hires Trump campaign press aide as communications director MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said there was a "universe" of Republicans who could support the resolution that would be more than four but far less than the 20 that would ultimately be needed to override a veto. 
 
"We've got members who want to see a new [authorization for use of military force] for anything that we do abroad. And then we've got other members who, like I said, think that constitutionally Congress needs to claw back some … of the powers we've given to the executive," Thune said.
 
Because Democrats are forcing the vote under the War Powers Act, they only need a simple majority for it to pass. With every Democrat expected to support it, it is expected to pass the Senate on Thursday. If the resolution reaches Trump's desk, he is all but guaranteed to veto it, and the Senate is not expected to be able to override the veto. 
 
Kaine estimated that in addition to the GOP senators who were already on board with the resolution, roughly an additional five to seven could be viewed as potential "yes" votes on his resolution.
 
 
She initially told KTOO, an Alaskan radio station, last month that she has not made a final decision, but “my inclination right now is, I’m hesitant to sign on to it for a host of different reasons.” 
 
However, she also told reporters last week that Congress needed to do more to exert itself against the executive branch, and noted that the war powers debate was coming up.
 
"I think the path forward is for the legislative branch is to wake up and get its act together … assert your own powers," Murkowski said. "We're going to have a debate coming up on war powers. That's legitimate for us as a Congress to discuss and debate."