Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) are working to kill a House deal to reauthorize expiring intelligence programs and reform the surveillance court, throwing up an eleventh hour roadblock to the agreement.
The vote was 55-45. Eight Republicans voted in favor of it: Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Todd Young of Indiana, Mike Lee of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Jerry Moran of Kansas.
The U.S. Senate advanced legislation on Wednesday intended to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran, paving the way for a final vote as eight Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the war powers resolution.
Kudos to Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Todd C. Young (R-Ind.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for their integrity in standing up for the resolution put forward by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) that joins the House to remind the administration that the Constitution gave Congress the right to declare war.
James Madison, the principal drafter of the Constitution, wrote that the history of mankind showed that the executive branch is “most interested in war, & most prone to it.”
For this reason, he noted that the Constitution, “with studied care, vested the question of war” in the legislature. Once initiated, the power to carry out military action does flow to the president as commander in chief. And the president always has the power to defend the nation from imminent attack. But even when the president acts unilaterally in response to an attack, that action must be brief and limited to addressing a specific threat. Any action beyond that scope requires an authorization by Congress.
Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) are calling on their Senate colleagues to support a proposed resolution aimed at reining in President Trump’s war powers against Iran.
Lee said that the language of the resolution is unobjectionable, saying it simply states that „additional hostilities against Iran need to be authorized by Congress.“ He added, „That is a perfectly unremarkable statement. […] The fact that this would be objectionable to anyone in either political party is really saying something.“ That’s particularly true after Kaine agreed to amendments from Republicans to make the resolution applicable to any president, and to ensure that it wouldn’t force a withdrawal of troops in areas where proxy forces of Iran are present.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) is circulating a bipartisan resolution that would direct Trump to remove U.S. forces from any hostilities against Iran within 30 days of its enactment.
GOP Sens. Mike Lee (Utah) and Rand Paul (Ky.) have already voiced their support for the measure, and Kaine says about eight more Republicans, including Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Todd Young (Ind.) and Mitt Romney (Utah), are reviewing it.
“Well, I’m worried. And as a United States senator and as a voter and citizen, I have learned not to simply take the federal government’s word at face value. I mean, look, we were lied to about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We were lied to for a couple of decades about what was happening in Afghanistan. We have been lied to about a lot of things,” Lee said.
GOP Senator Mike Lee expresses his displeasure with the briefing about the Iran missile attack, calling it the „worst briefing I’ve seen, at least on a military issue, in the nine years I’ve served in the United States Senate.“ Nicolle Wallace, responding to his comments, calls the moment a „huge deal,“ as „Republicans in the Senate are. by and large, zombies, walking along as Donald Trump obliterates things like truth, the rule of law, and respect for our institutions.“
Graham told reporters on Wednesday that he thought Paul and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) were „overreacting“ by criticizing comments made during a closed-door Iran briefing.
„They’re libertarians,“ Graham said. „I think they’re overreacting, quite frankly. Go debate all you want to. I’m going to debate you. Trust me, I’m going to let people know that at this moment in time to play this game with the war powers act … whether you mean to or not, you’re empowering the enemy.“
Die Regierung habe in der vertraulichen Sitzung in einem abhörsicheren Raum im Kongress kaum Beweise für die Behauptung vorgelegt, dass mit dem Luftangriff ein unmittelbar bevorstehender Angriff verhindert worden sei, erklärte der Senator aus dem US-Bundesstaat Utah, Mike Lee.
Die Regierung habe die Senatoren aufgefordert, „gute kleine Jungs und Mädchen zu sein, einfach mitzulaufen und das nicht öffentlich infrage zu stellen“, sagte der sichtlich verärgerte Lee, der nicht als Kritiker seines Parteifreundes Präsident Donald Trump bekannt ist.