As tensions between the United States and Iran soar in the wake of a US strike that claimed the life of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, it appears that US Democrats are making moves to prevent US President Donald Trump from waging war against Iran without congressional approval.
During his recent appearance on ABC News’ "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer insisted that they don’t need Trump "either bumbling or impulsively getting us into a major war", describing the US president’s foreign policy as "erratic and unsuccessful".
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tells @GStephanopoulos Pres. Trump needs congressional approval to go to war: "Congress must assert itself ... We do not need this president either bumbling or impulsively getting us into a major war." https://t.co/z82TaCy7xx pic.twitter.com/jqAsq7rbLP— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) 5 января 2020 г.
According to The Hill, the Democrats are seeking to pass a resolution that would "force Trump to withdraw American troops from hostilities against Iran" unless said hostilities are authorised by Congress.
The media outlet points out that while a Senate vote on the resolution can be forced, "because the war-powers resolution is privileged", the Democrats are unlikely to get the majority necessary for overcoming the presidential veto, as Republicans seem to have "rallied around the president" over him ordering Soleimani’s killing.
"The Senate must not let this president march into another war in the Middle East without authorization from Congress", Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin said. "The Constitution is clear — only the Congress can declare war".
The senators are now pondering when to force a vote on the resolution and "what other tools are at their disposal", the media outlet adds.
Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of an Iraqi Shia militia group, were killed by a US drone attack near Baghdad International Airport on Friday, 3 January.
US President Donald Trump called the attack a preemptive, defensive strike, while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated that Tehran will take revenge for what it views to be a terrorist action.