On May 6th, US President Donald Trump vetoed the Iran War Powers resolution.
The resolution is a bipartisan effort to limit presidential authority to use military force against Iran without congressional approval.
Trump called it a “very insulting resolution” and argued the measure was “based on misunderstandings of facts and law” in a statement.
“This indefinite prohibition is unnecessary and dangerous,” the White House said in a separate message to the Senate.
Trump in his statement claimed the resolution was “introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party.”
“Contrary to the resolution, the United States is not engaged in the use of force against Iran. Four months ago, I took decisive action to eliminate Qassem Soleimani while he was in Iraq. Iran responded by launching a series of missiles at our forces stationed in Iraq. No one was killed by these attacks,” Trump said in his statement.
He claimed the strike against Soleimani “was fully authorized by law, including the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 and Article II of the Constitution.”
“The resolution implies that the President’s constitutional authority to use military force is limited to defense of the United States and its forces against imminent attack. That is incorrect,” Trump said. “We live in a hostile world of evolving threats, and the Constitution recognizes that the President must be able to anticipate our adversaries’ next moves and take swift and decisive action in response. That’s what I did!”
The Senate passed the resolution with bipartisan support despite the President’s vocal opposition. The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed it, too.
The resolution called for “the President to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces for hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran or any part of its government or military, unless explicitly authorized by a declaration of war or specific authorization for use of military force against Iran.”
It included a provision ensuring the President would still be able to defend the United States from “imminent attack” absent congressional approval.
In response, the US Senate is to attempt and overturn Trump’s veto with a vote on May 7th.
Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the chamber will hold a veto override vote. It is expected to fail, as it requires a 2/3 support.
“I urge my colleagues to join me in voting to override his veto. Unless there’s a carefully reached consensus in Congress that war is necessary, we should not be sending our troops into harm’s way,” Senator Tim Kaine said in a statement. He was the Senator who spearheaded the War Powers Resolution.
The resolution initially passed the Senate in February in a 55-45 vote, with eight GOP senators supporting it. It then passed the House in a 227-186 vote in March as one of its last votes before lawmakers left town amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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