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Eight Senate Republicans broke with their GOP colleagues on Wednesday voting in favor of a resolution that would limit President Donald Trump’s ability to use military action against Iran without approval from Congress.
The resolution would require Trump to remove US troops engaged in hostilities against Iran unless Congress declared war or passed a specific authorization for the use of military force.
The vote was bipartisan, 51-45, with eight Republicans voting with Democrats. The eight Republicans were:
- Utah Sen. Mike Lee
- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul
- Maine Sen. Susan Collins
- Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander
- Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy
- Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran
- Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski
- Indiana Sen. Todd Young
“We should not be at war with Iran unless Congress votes to authorize such a war,” Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, who introduced the resolution said, according to CNN.
“While the President does and must always have the ability to defend the United States from imminent attack, the executive power to initiate war stops there. An offensive war requires a congressional debate and vote. This should not be a controversial proposition.”
Republican opponents, including Trump, said passage would send the wrong message to Tehran.
“It is very important for our Country’s SECURITY that the United States Senate not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution. We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the resolution abused the War Powers Act because that law was intended to prevent the deployment of thousands of troops into sustained combat without congressional authorization.
The Democratic-led House passed a similar resolution last month, as Democrats and some Republicans fumed over Trump’s failure to fully inform them about his Iran strategy.
Trump last month ordered a drone strike that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani at the airport in Baghdad, but did not inform Congress until afterward.
The resolution could be vetoed by Trump, as he vetoed a War Powers resolution in 2019.