Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has agreed to co-sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders’s bill to block Trump from getting any money for an Iran war.
In a joint statement provided to PoliticusUSA, Sens. Lee and Sanders (I-VT) said:
As United States Senators, we often disagree on many issues. But standing up for the Constitution is not about partisanship. The Founding Fathers were absolutely clear. They wanted to ensure that our country avoided needless conflict and they understood that presidential war-making would be harmful to our democracy.
That is why Article I of the Constitution vests Congressand only Congresswith the power to declare war and to direct government spending. The American people’s elected representatives have a duty to publicly debate and vote on military action before we send our brave servicemembers into harm’s way or spend a penny on military hostilities.
Our billthe No War Against Iran Actutilizes Congress’s power of the purse to block any funds from going to an unauthorized war with Iran. As our country faces the possibility of another devastating conflict in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions of dollars, the Senate must vote on our legislation without delay.
We are proud to have worked together in a bipartisan way to help end the disastrous, unauthorized U.S. war in Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands of innocent people over the past five years. Last year, for the first time in American history, the House and Senate passed our War Powers Resolution to end that horrific conflict. We are committed to doing everything in our power to work together once again and build bipartisan majorities in order to prevent an unconstitutional war with Iran.
Speaker of the House Pelosi has already said that the House version of the bill will be voted on. The House version is likely to pass. Sen. Lee signaled after the administration briefed the Senate on the Soleimani strike by telling them not to debate Trump’s war powers that he was open to supporting legislation to limit Trump’s ability to launch a war with Iran.
The odds of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voluntarily bringing the bill to the floor for a vote are close to zero, so Democrats are going to need to force a vote.
Sen. Lee is likely to not be the only Senate Republican to support this bill. The movement to check Trump’s war powers is growing in Congress.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is 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