Trump vetoes bill passed by US Senate that would bar him from launching war on Iran without Congressional authorisation

President claimed that seeking Congress approval for war was ‘very insulting’

Gino Spocchia
Thursday 07 May 2020 16:10 EDT
Iran harassing US Navy in Arabian Gulf

President Donald Trump has vetoed legislation that limited a president’s ability to wage war against Iran without the approval of Congress.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump said that he vetoed the Iran war powers resolution because it was “insulting” to the presidency.

In a statement, he argued that the nonbinding legislation “purported to direct me to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces in hostilities against Iran.”

Congress passed the Iran war powers resolution in the aftermath of the US killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, amid widespread concerns about tensions between the US and Iran.

At the time, the resolution – which was introduced to Congress by Democratic Senator Tim Kaine – showed bipartisan support for reigning-in president Trump’s war-making powers.

“This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party,” said Trump in the White House statement on Wednesday. “The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands.”

In another White House memo, reported CNN, the president said “This indefinite prohibition is unnecessary and dangerous”.

“The resolution implies that the President’s constitutional authority to use military force is limited to defense of the United States and its forces against imminent attack. That is incorrect,” Trump said on Wednesday.

Trump continued: “We live in a hostile world of evolving threats, and the Constitution recognises that the President must be able to anticipate our adversaries’ next moves and take swift and decisive action in response. That’s what I did!”

Congress is not expected to override the president’s veto during a vote on Thursday, as Republicans hold a 53-to 47-seat majority in the US senate.

Mr Kaine on Wednesday called on senators to vote with him to override the veto, saying on Twitter: “I urge my colleagues to join me in voting to override his veto—Congress must vote before sending our troops into harm’s way.”

The resolution was passed by the House of Representatives in March and the Senate in April, with the support of a small number of Republicans.

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