In the wake of the U.S. drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top military commander, Sen. Tim Kaine introduced a privileged war powers resolution on Friday in an effort to block President Donald Trump from taking further actions against Iran that would escalate already-high tensions in the Middle East.
According to The Hill, Kaine, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined many of his Democratic colleagues in their criticism over Trump not seeking congressional authority to carry out such a high-level military strike against a foreign nation. His proposed resolution, which was sponsored by Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, would make it so that any further actions against Iran would require congressional approval.
It’s important to note that Kaine’s proposal would still allow the president to act militarily without congressional approval if the United States was under imminent attack.
“For years I’ve been deeply concerned about President Trump stumbling into a war with Iran. We’re now at a boiling point and Congress must step in before Trump puts even more of our troops in harm’s way,” Kaine said on Friday.
Kaine then emphasized that it’s important to keep U.S. troops in mind before engaging in military activities that could lead to another full-blown conflict in the Middle East.
“We owe it to our servicemembers to have a debate and vote about whether or not it’s in our national interest to engage in another unnecessary war in the Middle East,” Kaine said.
One, or possibly two major roadblocks for Kaine’s proposed resolution is that it requires passage in both chambers of Congress followed by a signature from Trump — a signature that Kaine is not likely to receive.
The bill can still pass with Trump’s veto if both chambers manage to gather a two-thirds majority vote, but with the Senate controlled by Republicans, that could also pose a challenge for Kaine and Democrats who back the proposal.
"The Pentagon's warnings were right. We are now engaged in armed hostilities with Iran based upon presidential decisions that he hasn't sought congressional approval for. So we need to have a debate in Congress about this matter before the entire American public." —@TimKaine pic.twitter.com/yJZkvtcJis
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) January 3, 2020
The president had a far different view of the situation, saying on Friday that Soleimani should have been eliminated as a threat to the United States under previous administrations.
“What the United States did yesterday should have been done long ago,” Trump said. In an attempt to turn the tables on opponents who claim he’s trying to start a war with Iran, the president said the assassination of Soleimani was to prevent war.
“We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war,” he said.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, approximately 3,350 troops from the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division will be deployed to the Middle East, which follows a previous deployment from the same division of 750 troops.