Led by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) a group of Senators is pushing to add an amendment to the NDAA that would take away Trump’s power to start a war with Iran.
The bipartisan amendment was already passed in the House 251-170, and it would prevent Donald Trump any unilateral action that would start a war with Iran.
Sen. Udall said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:
The president is taking to Twitter to say that the United States military is ‘locked and loaded’ on behalf of the Saudi Kingdom, threatening military strikes against Iran that Congress has not authorized. Iran’s behavior in the region is highly problematic on many levels, but Saudi Arabia’s oil interests do not determine whether the United States goes to war – the U.S. Congress does. Rather than threats of war, the right move is active diplomacy to lower tensions in the region.
It is clear that we are at this point because the Trump administration’s Middle East policy is a failure, in large part due to the ‘maximum pressure’ campaign and the unilateral abandonment of diplomacy, which are only causing more chaos in the region and doing nothing to advance U.S. interests. Congress needs a full intelligence briefing on this latest incident as quickly as possible. And we must insist that the final National Defense Authorization Act – which is being negotiated right now — include my bipartisan amendment to prevent an unconstitutional war with Iran. Congress needs to act before President Trump launches us into an unauthorized, misguided military conflict in the Middle East to make up for his diplomatic failures.
If this amendment is brought to the Senate floor for a vote, it will pass by a wide margin.
Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate are worried about presidential unilateral military action. It is a conflict that has been bubbling between the Legislative and Executive Branches of the government for decades. Trump is pushing it over the edge.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress are warning Trump not to strike Iran:
Direct engagement by US military in response to Iran’s attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure would be a grave mistake. The US has continued arms sales so Saudi Arabia can defend itself. If SA responds against Iran attacks, the US should be ready to support in a non-kinetic role.
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) September 16, 2019
There is no imminent threat and the U.S. military is not authorized to retaliate on behalf of another country.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) September 16, 2019
If Mitch McConnell doesn’t save Trump by refusing to bring the amendment to the floor for a vote, Congress could block Trump from beginning a war with Iran.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association