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 John TrumpSecret Service members who helped organize Pence Arizona trip test positive for COVID-19: report Trump administration planning pandemic office at the State Department: report Iran releases photo of damaged nuclear fuel production site: report 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 CollinsThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus GOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday Senate passes extension of application deadline for PPP small-business loans MORE (Maine), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate panel votes 21-1 to back Justice IG measure over Graham objections Senators offer bill to expand charitable giving tax break Overnight Energy: Senate passes major lands conservation bill | Mnuchin ordered to give Native American tribes full stimulus funding | Key Republican jeopardizes Trump consumer safety nominee MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP Arizona lawmaker says Fauci and Birx 'undermine' Trump's coronavirus response Fauci: 'We are not going in the right direction' FBI says Breonna Taylor case is 'top priority' for Louisville agents MORE (Ky.) and Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungSenate Republicans defend Trump's response on Russian bounties Stronger patent rights would help promote US technological leadership In the next COVID-19 bill, target innovation and entrepreneurship 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 McConnell'Comrade' Trump gets 'endorsement' from Putin in new mock ad by Lincoln Project ACLU calls on Congress to approve COVID-19 testing for immigrants Carville repeats prediction that Trump will drop out of race 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 ThuneRepublicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names McConnell: Trump shouldn't veto defense bill over renaming Confederate bases Senate Republicans defend Trump's response on Russian bounties 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."