UPDATED 1:55 PM PT — Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is warning against limiting the president’s war powers. On Wednesday, McConnell called Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine’s (D-Va.) War Powers Resolution “blunt and clumsy.”
He went on to say the legislation “severely limits” the White House’s power to mitigate threats from Iran.
Senate Democrats spent years saying “when it comes to Iran, we should never take the military option off the table.”
But now, after criticizing the successful strike on Soleimani, they want to pass a resolution to limit President Trump’s authorities. pic.twitter.com/IjyHS3M3dc
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) February 11, 2020
On Wednesday, the upper chamber voted to advance the resolution in a 51 to 45 vote. McConnell stood firm, comparing the resolution to the Democrats’ impeachment efforts.
“The collateral institutional damage of this action would fall on our military, its ability to operate quickly and adaptively, and emerging threats would be jeopardized. Like impeachment, this War Powers Resolution cuts short that interplay between the branches, it short circuits the deliberation and debate. It is (a) dangerously overbroad resolution that should not pass Congress, that is certain to be vetoed if it does.”
– Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader
The Senate is scheduled to hold a full vote on the measure this Thursday, but appears to lack the two-thirds majority needed to override an expected veto by the president.
In a series of tweets, President Trump criticized the resolution, saying the motion would greatly embolden Iranian aggression in the Middle East going forward. He said the resolution was designed to tie his hands and “embarrass the Republican Party,” but would actually protect Iran and reveal America’s weaknesses.
….If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don’t let it happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020
Democrats drafted the legislation after President Trump green-lit the killing of a top Iranian general last month.
“We just took out the world’s top terrorist, Qasem Soleimani, ending his evil reign of terror forever,” stated the president. “The fact is America is respected again, been a long time.”
He added that a vast majority of Americans supported his decision to take out the general.