Sen. McConnell urges Senate against passing War Powers Resolution

Fears that the country was on the brink of war with Iran added new fuel to an ongoing effort by members of both parties to take back the power to declare war from the White House.

Why it matters: The bipartisan resolution, which has the backing of Sens.

The resolution, which needs a simple majority to pass, is expected to get support from Republican senators, including Jerry Moran, Susan Collins, Mike Lee and Rand Paul.

Calling himself a "huge fan" of Trump's foreign policy, Lee said the resolution supported Trump's goal of limiting military action.

The president warned the Senate ahead of the vote that "this is not the time to show weakness" and that "the Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party".

Despite some Republican support in the Senate, however, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has strongly opposed the measure, which is unlikely to win enough votes for a veto-proof majority. Tim Kaine, D-Va., would require the president to cease all hostilities targeting Iran within 30 days unless explicitly approved by Congress.

"While the president does and must always have the ability to defend the United States from imminent attack, the executive power to initiate war stops there", Sen.

Under the US Constitution, the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces, but Congress has the power to declare war.

US Senate advances resolution limiting Trump's ability to wage war
Americans overwhelmingly support our attack on terrorist Soleimani [.] If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day . At a news conference after the vote to proceed to debate, senators from both parties urged support for the measure.

In such a scenario, it is possible that the House could use its power of the purse to defund American military operations against Iran and thus force the president to bring the troops home.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the resolution abused the War Powers Act because that law was meant to prevent the deployment of thousands of troops into sustained combat without congressional authorisation.

Debate on the Iran war powers resolution comes in the wake of a divisive impeachment trial in the Senate, which temporarily put consideration of the measure on hold as it stalled other legislative business while the proceedings - which ended in acquittal of the President - played out.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed a similar resolution last month, as Democrats and some Republicans fumed over Trump's failure to fully inform them about his Iran strategy.

The House has already voted on a similar resolution, passing it with bipartisan votes in the wake of the administration's targeted killing last month in Iraq with a US drone of Tehran's top military commander, Qassem Soleimani. Americans overwhelmingly support our attack on terrorist Soleimani. If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day.

"I've had a long-standing opposition to the War Powers Act. Sends a very bad signal".

Eight Republicans sided with Democrats on a procedural vote setting up Senate action.

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