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Schumer: We Have 51 Votes to Restrain Trump on Iran

Senate minority leader says they have the votes needed to pass war powers resolution
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 14, 2020 5:30 PM CST
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Sen. Tim Kaine D-Va., speaks during a news conference outside of the Senate chamber, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
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(Newser) – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday he thinks Democrats have the votes they need to pass a bipartisan resolution asserting that President Trump must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran. Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, who is sponsoring the measure along with two Republican senators, said Tuesday he has support from at least two other Republicans, the AP reports. "We believe [we] will get 51 votes that is needed to pass," Schumer said later, per CNN, promising the Senate would "soon consider" the resolution in an effort to "prevent further escalation of hostilities with Iran" following the Jan. 3 US drone strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Kaine said the measure matures this weekend and will be available for consideration by the Senate next week, and Schumer noted that when figuring out timing for a vote, the Senate will need to consider "how it intersects with impeachment." The House last week passed its own resolution on the same subject with a 224-194 vote. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and many other Republicans oppose the resolution, saying it would send the wrong message to US allies, one of the Republicans who supports the measure, Susan Collins, says it "does not alter the president’s inherent authority as commander in chief to defend our nation and US forces abroad," but "simply makes clear that only the legislative branch may declare war or commit our armed forces to a sustained military conflict with Iran."

(Read more Iran stories.)

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