Unorthodox Senate Deal Clears Path for Vote on Iran Amendment
WASHINGTON — Senate leaders struck an unusual deal Wednesday afternoon to hold a vote on language that would block President Donald Trump from launching a war against Iran without congressional approval, paving the way for a final vote on the massive Pentagon policy measure Thursday.
But the vote on the Iran amendment will happen Friday, to accommodate Senate Democrats participating in presidential debates this week, a GOP aide said. If the chamber adopts the language, which has the support of at least two Republican senators, it would then be retroactively included in the fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill.
Democrats had threatened to filibuster the typically bipartisan defense bill unless the Iran amendment received a vote Friday, so the seven Democratic senators running for president could weigh in.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who opposes the Iran language, said Wednesday the amendment vote would begin in the morning and be held open for several hours.
“We should put this issue to rest before, before we break for the Fourth of July recess,” the Kentucky Republican said. “Holding up the defense authorization bill is not an acceptable outcome.”
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., one of the amendment’s sponsors, said he believes the amendment would have a 60-vote threshold to pass.
“It’s so important that everybody be on the record on this,” said Kaine, a leading voice of the issue of congressional authorization for wars. “We could not let the NDAA go by when we were 10 minutes away from a war without having this discussion with the troops and the public,” he added, alluding to President Donald Trump’s claim that he called off a strike against Iran last week with minutes to spare.
Andrew Clevenger contributed to this report.
©2019 CQ-Roll Call, Inc., All Rights Reserved
Visit CQ Roll Call at www.rollcall.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
In The News
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan measure limiting President Donald Trump's authority to launch military operations against Iran is moving toward approval in the Senate. The resolution, authored by Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, asserts that Trump must win approval from Congress before engaging in further... Read More
WASHINGTON — At least 64 U.S. military personnel in Iraq suffered brain trauma in an Iranian missile attack launched in retaliation after President Donald Trump ordered the killing of an Iranian general. The 64 service members — 14 more than previously reported — have been diagnosed... Read More
WASHINGTON - The Iran nuclear deal has been on life support for nearly two years since President Donald Trump decided to unilaterally withdraw the U.S. from it. The remaining signatories of the deal, which is officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, have... Read More
Three rockets fell inside Baghdad’s Green Zone on Tuesday morning, with a couple of them hitting near the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, according to multiple reports. Based on video taken by a BBC reporter at the embassy complex, rocket attack alarms sounded while an announcement asked... Read More
WASHINGTON — Iran launched 15 ballistic missiles at two military bases used by U.S. forces in Iraq, the Pentagon said Tuesday night, as long-simmering tensions between Washington and Tehran erupted into fiery explosions and fears of all-out war after the U.S. killing of a top Iranian... Read More
BAGHDAD — In a rapidly intensifying regional backlash to the Trump administration’s killing of a senior Iranian general, Iran declared Sunday that it was tossing aside a pledge to limit the production of nuclear fuel, and the Iraqi parliament voted to expel U.S. troops from the... Read More