By staff and agencies

U.S. Senate votes to limit Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran

February 14, 2020 - 16:16

The U.S. Senate passed a legislation on Thursday to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran.

According to AP, the measure, authored by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., says Trump must win approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran.

Eight of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined Democrats to pass the war powers resolution by 55-45. The measure would require Trump to remove U.S. troops engaged in hostilities against Iran unless Congress declares war or passes a specific authorization for the use of military force, Reuters reported.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted on Friday, “Today, with this strong War Powers Resolution, the Senate is joining the House in honoring our responsibility: keeping the American people safe. The Congress and the American people know we cannot afford war.”

The U.S. House of Representatives passed two pieces of a legislation on January 30, seeking to limit Trump’s authority to go to war with Iran.

“The Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power to declare war. And with President Trump taking steps toward dangerous conflict with Iran - without any consultation with Congress - we need to reassert the responsibility given to us,” Democratic Representative Eliot Engel, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in support of the legislation.

In an interview with Geo News published on January 25, Engel criticized Trump for beating drums of war against Iran. 

“The United States, frankly, has been involved in too many wars in the last twenty years. And, I think it’s time to back off and not have a perpetual war,” he said.

He also called assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani “an ill-advised action”.

Many members of Congress, including some Republicans, have been pushing the administration for more information about assassination of Soleimani, Reuters reported.

Trump did not inform Congress about the drone strike until after it took place and then, according to many lawmakers, his administration held back too much information about the reason for the strike and its legal justification.

General Soleimani was assassinated in a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad on January 3.

In a retaliatory move, Iran fired dozens of ballistic missiles at a major U.S. military base in Iraq on January 8.

Ayatollah Khamenei said on January 8 that such military actions are not enough and the U.S. forces must leave the region.

More than 100 American service members have traumatic brain injuries from Iranian airstrikes on Al Asad Air Base in Iraq in January, the Defense Department said on Feb. 10, a number that was more than 50 percent higher than previously disclosed.

According to the New York Times, the latest tally, which has steadily grown since the Jan. 8 strike, drew a sharp contrast with the assertion by the Trump administration in the hours after the attack that no Americans were hurt. The number also underscored the unseen effects of traumatic brain injuries, which sometimes do not manifest symptoms for days or weeks but can have long-term physical or mental effects.

NA/PA
 

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