On February 13, 2020, eight Senate Republicans voted with all 47 Democrats to restrain President Donald Trump’s power to take military action against Iran.
This will inevitably lead to a veto confrontation between Congress and the White House.
The Senate voted 55-45 on the resolution, which Virginia Senator Tim Kaine put forward. This resolution would compel Trump to withdraw any U.S. troops from military action against Iran within 30 days unless he acquires congressional approval for any military moves.
The eight GOP senators rationalized the vote under the premise that it was bringing back some of the war-making power Congress has yielded to the executive branch during the last few decades. This resolution’s passage was not intended to be a personal insult against Trump.
The Republicans who voted for the resolution were Senators Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Kentucky), Susan Collins (Maine), Todd Young (Indiana), Jerry Moran (Kansas), Lamar Alexander (Tennessee), Bill Cassidy (Louisiana.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).
“This is not about the presidency. … This really is about the proper allocation of power between the three branches of government,” Lee informed reporters. “Congress has ceased to be in the war declaration driver’s seat.”
Lee also noted that he was a “big supporter of this president” and that supporting this resolution was “about supporting President Trump in his foreign policy and his effort to make sure we don’t get involved too easily, too quickly and in an unconstitutional way in any war.”
“It is … important to reassert the legislative branch’s role regardless of which party occupies the White House,” Maine Senator Susan Collins stated, also declaring that the resolution was “much needed and long overdue.”
Hopefully, President Trump turns to his America First instincts and signs this resolution into law so as to prevent neoconservatives from co-opting his foreign policy agenda.