Wednesday, January 15, 2020

War-Powers Bill Gains Enough GOP Support to Pass

Photo: al drago/Reuters
Susan Collins becomes fourth Republican senator to back measure to curb action by Trump against Iran
At least four Senate Republicans will break with the administration to support a resolution that would limit President Trump’s ability to take military action against Iran, likely giving Democrats enough votes to pass the measure as soon as this week.
The bipartisan resolution, an amended version of legislation written by Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.), directs Mr. Trump to end the use of military force against Iran unless such action is authorized by Congress. It doesn’t prevent the U.S. from defending itself against an imminent attack.
The Democratic-controlled House is expected to pass the legislation, which Mr. Trump could veto.
Sens. Rand Paul (R., Ky.), Mike Lee (R., Utah), Todd Young (R., Ind.), and Susan Collins (R., Maine) each have said they would support the updated version of Mr. Kaine’s legislation, giving it majority support if every Democrat votes for it. Several other Senate Republicans have said they are still considering the measure.
“It is important to reassert the Legislative Branch’s war powers authorities regardless of who occupies the White House. This has been my position during every administration, Democratic or Republican,” Ms. Collins said in a statement Tuesday.
The White House earlier Tuesday signaled that it expected the resolution to pass, with officials saying they were prepared for other Republicans to sign on. Approval of the resolution would mark a rare bipartisan check on Mr. Trump’s executive authority by the legislative branch.
Photo: Michael Brochstein/Zuma Press
Under Congress’s 1973 War Powers Resolution, Mr. Kaine could force a vote on the version that incorporates the changes from Republicans early next week unless there is bipartisan agreement to take it up earlier. Members of Senate Republican leadership have said they expect to consider war- powers legislation this week.
There are 53 Republican senators to 47 senators in the Democratic caucus, so if all members are present, four GOP defections give Democrats enough support to pass the resolution. If Mr. Trump vetoes the measure, lawmakers are unlikely to muster the two-thirds vote needed in each chamber to override it.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE.

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