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 TrumpCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' Meadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House 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 CollinsGOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post Campaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus Senate eyes quick exit after vote on coronavirus stimulus package MORE (Maine), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenator Tom Coburn's government oversight legacy Trump on Romney's negative coronavirus test: 'I am so happy I can barely speak' Romney says he tested negative for coronavirus, will remain in quarantine MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHouse chairwoman diagnosed with 'presumed' coronavirus infection Capitol officials extend suspension of tourist access until May Second Capitol Police officer tests positive for coronavirus MORE (Ky.) and Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungRand Paul's coronavirus diagnosis sends shockwaves through Senate GOP lukewarm on talk of airline bailout Trump, GOP scramble to keep economy from derailing 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 Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden spar over coronavirus response Senator Tom Coburn's government oversight legacy Schumer praises choice of Defense inspector general to oversee corporate lending fund 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 ThuneTrump's magical thinking won't stop the coronavirus pandemic Lawmakers brace for more coronavirus legislation after trillion bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Senate overcomes hurdles, passes massive coronavirus bill 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."