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  • The president has promised a veto and there is not expected to be enough support in the Senate to muster the two-thirds majority to override. 

    The president has promised a veto and there is not expected to be enough support in the Senate to muster the two-thirds majority to override.  | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 February 2020

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed a similar resolution last month, but there are enough differences between the two versions that it must pass that chamber again before it can be sent to Trump’s desk.

The United States Senate approved legislation Thursday to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran in order to prevent any further escalation of broader regional conflict.

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US House Blocks Trump's Ability to Wage War Against Iran

Eight of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined Democrats to pass the war powers resolution by 55-45. The measure would require Trump to remove U.S. troops engaged in hostilities against Iran unless Congress declares war or passes a specific authorization for the use of military force.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed a similar resolution last month, but there are enough differences between the Senate’s version and the House’s that it must pass that chamber again before it can be sent to Trump’s desk.

The president has promised a veto and there is not expected to be enough support in the Senate to muster the two-thirds majority to override. 

Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, a lead sponsor of the resolution, said the vote showed strength and reflected the importance of Congress weighing in on the decision to deploy U.S. troops.

“If we’re to order our young men and women in uniform to risk their lives and health in war, it should be on the basis of careful deliberation,” he added.

According to the War Powers Resolution, a U.S. president can send the country’s Armed Forces into action abroad only by declaration of war by Congress, "statutory authorization," or in case of "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces."

The federal law, intended to check the president's power to send country to war without consent, requires the White House to notify Congress within 48 hours of introducing forces into armed conflict or a situation that could lead to war, and forbids them from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30-day withdrawal period, without a Congressional authorization for use of military force or a declaration of war by the U.S. 

The debate over Trump’s power to push the U.S. into war comes after the president authorized the assassination of Iran’s Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, and Iraq’s Militia Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on Jan. 2 in an airstrike on their convoy in Baghdad airport.

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