A dual group of senators on Wednesday ignored a plea by President Donald Trump and voted in favor of a resolution of war forces that would hamper his ability to take military action in Iran.
Trump begged lawmakers not to approve the measure, would “show weakness” and “give Iran a field day.”
“Don’t let it happen!” Wrote the president on Twitter.
However, the Senate voted to move the resolution forward with a final vote expected on Thursday.
Eight Republican senators voted to vote for the measure – a sign that it will pass when the Chamber casts its final vote. They were Mike Lee from Utah, Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, Todd Young from Indiana, Lamar Alexander from Tennessee, Susan Collins from Maine, Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, Jerry Moran from Kansas and Rand Paul from Tennessee.
Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar did not vote.
President Donald Trump implored the Senate not to adopt a resolution of war forces that would hamper its ability to take military action in Iran
Trump went to Twitter before the procedural vote on Wednesday to appeal.
“It is very important for the SECURITY of our country that the US Senate does not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution. We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness. Americans overwhelmingly support our attack on terrorist Soleimani. If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats only do this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don’t let it happen! “Wrote the president.
According to the resolution, Trump should end all hostilities with regard to Iran within 30 days, unless he receives explicit approval from Congress.
Lawmakers in both parties insisted on the resolution after Trump ordered the assassination of supreme Iranian general Qassem Soleimani without informing Congress.
The House has adopted a similar measure, but should pass the Senate version to get a resolution for its signature at the office of the president.
If that happens, Trump is expected to veto it, and neither of those chambers is expected to have two-thirds of the votes to ignore such a veto.
The Senate resolution, sponsored by Democratic Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia, came after Trump had sent members of his cabinet to Capitol Hill to inform senators about the murder of Soleimani.
The briefing went so bad that Republican senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee came out of the vow to vote for Kaine’s resolution.
“The worst briefing I’ve seen – at least on a military issue – in the nine years I’ve served” in the Senate, Lee said after the briefing.
Lee and Paul left the January briefing – conducted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Joint Chief of Staff Mark Milley, Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and CIA Director Gina Haspel – and went straight to the television cameras to tell what they heard.
“That briefing has changed its mind. That briefing brought me on board, “Lee told reporters after it was completed. “I’m going to support it now. I undecidedly walked into that briefing and walked out of that briefing, specifically decided because of what happened in that briefing. ”
Lee did not carve out his feelings about how the Trump officials treated him during the briefing.
“They had to leave after 75 minutes while telling us that we should be good little boys and girls and not debate this in public. I think that’s absolutely insane, “Lee said.
“One of the messages we received from the briefers is not to debate, not to discuss the suitability of further military intervention against Iran, and if you do, you will encourage Iran,” added Lee. “I find this insulting and humiliating.”
Democratic senator Tim Kaine sponsored the resolution
Sen. Mike Lee was upset after a briefing about the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will leave the Capitol after the January briefing
It is not acceptable for the executive to tell us’ we cannot discuss the suitability of military intervention in Iran. “It’s un-American, it’s unconstitutional and it’s wrong,” the Utah senator commented.
Three other Republican senators – Jerry Moran from Kansas, Susan Collins from Maine and Todd Young from Indiana – have said they will vote for Kaine’s resolution.
That gives Democrats the numbers they need for passage, which is just a simple majority of senators.
“We should not be at war with Iran unless Congress votes to allow such a war,” Kaine said Wednesday. “While the president must and must always be able to defend the United States against an impending attack, the executive to initiate war stops there. An offensive war requires a conference debate and a vote. This cannot be a controversial proposal. ”
“This is not aimed at President Trump, it would apply to every president,” said Kaine. “Essentially, it’s about Congress taking responsibility for the most important decision we should ever make.”
Kaine removed any specific reference to President Trump and made a broader defense of the role of Congress in declaring war to get Republican support.