A bipartisan Senate amendment that would have prevented a war with Iran without Congressional approval failed today, after it was rejected due to the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in what was the longest vote in the history of the chamber.
A majority of Senators voted in favor of the amendment to reassert Congressional war powers, 50-40, but it ultimately failed to reach the 60 vote super-majority threshold needed for it to be approved by the Senate. Democrat and Republican Senate aides indicated to The Intercept that McConnell ordered the Senate parliamentarian to determine the measure as “not germane” so it would need a super-majority and therefore not pass.
The measure was proposed by a bipartisan group of Senators – Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) – to push back against a potential war with Iran as hostilities have increased in recent weeks.
The amendment would have barred funding for the war preemptively without specific authorization from the Congress. Republican leaders, including President Trump himself, claim authority to attack Iran based on precedents set by previous presidents who committed military actions without explicit Congressional approval.
President Trump ran against endless wars in the Middle East in order to get elected, calling the Iraq War the greatest mistake in U.S. history, and still continues to deride the military-industrial complex while in the White House.
“Well, I’m the one that talks about these wars that are 19 years and people are just there, and don’t kid yourself, we do have a military-industrial complex. They do like war!” Trump said during an interview on Fox News earlier in the year.
“You have people here in Washington, they never want to leave!” Trump added.
While Trump has maintained that he does not want war with Iran, there have been a series of provocative events including oil tanker attacks and the shooting down of a drone in recent weeks that have torpedoed any possible diplomatic solution.
Sen. McConnell, through his procedural tricks, has made it that much easier today for the U.S. to be dragged into another Middle East war that will squander blood and treasure for no clear national security purpose.
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