President Trump has vetoed what he called a “very insulting” congressional resolution that said he must get the green light from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran.
The nonbinding resolution was introduced first in the House after the US launched an airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
The military commander’s killing in a drone strike ordered by Trump on Jan. 3 in Baghdad prompted the Islamic Republic to launch missiles at American targets in Iraq.
Under the Constitution, Congress has the power to declare war. Even so, Trump said the resolution implied that his own constitutional authority to use military force was limited to defending the US and its forces against imminent attack.
“That is incorrect,” Trump said in a statement. “We live in a hostile world of evolving threats and the Constitution recognizes 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!”
The president also derided the Republicans who broke ranks to support the measure, saying “Congress should not have passed this resolution.”
“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,” he said. “The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands.”
The resolution said the president cannot commit US forces to hostilities against Iran or any part of its government or military without explicit congressional authorization.
Trump said the resolution, a rare bipartisan rebuke to the president approved in March, was based on “misunderstandings of facts and law.”
Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine hit out at Trump for blocking the resolution.
“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 Virginia senator said in a tweet.
Trump last year: “Great nations do not fight endless wars.”
Trump today: Vetoed bipartisan legislation to help avoid unnecessary war in the Middle East.
I urge my colleagues to join me in voting to override his veto—Congress must vote before sending our troops into harm’s way.
— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) May 6, 2020
The Senate is scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to override Trump’s veto.
To override the veto, two-thirds of the members of both houses of Congress must vote to do so — unlikely, given the GOP majority in the Senate.
With Post Wires