Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, who co-sponsored the war powers resolution, told the Senate, "The resolution before the body today is about Congress reclaiming its rightful role in decisions about war". Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said before the vote. An offensive war requires a congressional debate and vote. This should not be a controversial proposition. "It's clearly stated in the Constitution".
"Just as we have successfully sent Iran this strong signal of our strength and resolve, a blunt and clumsy War Powers resolution would tie our own hands", McConnell said.
"I support what the President is doing with our foreign policy", Lee said, adding, "For me, this is about supporting President Trump in his foreign policy, in his effort to make sure that we don't get involved too easily, too quickly, in an unconstitutional way, in any war. Don't let it happen!" But Trump is all but guaranteed to veto the resolution once it reaches his desk.
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.
Under the US Constitution, the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces, but Congress has the power to declare war.
In January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged Soleimani was a bad person, while stressing the importance of congressional debate over war powers.
The Iraq War, of course, had authorization from Congress.
Republican opponents, including Trump, said passage would send the wrong message to Teheran.
What they're saying: The White House argues the bill "fails to account for present reality", since it was introduced on January 9 "in response to an escalating series of attacks" by Iran. Trump probably made up those plots, but it didn't matter. He ordered the strike on Soleimani without informing congressional leaders, and by the time the dust had cleared, Soleimani was dead and the U.S.at the precipice of a wider war with Iran - until cooler heads prevailed.
The incident was one more reminder that you should never believe a word this president says.
Kaine introduced the resolution last month after a drone strike, authorized by Trump, killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. As already noted, history doesn't suggest Congress would rise to that challenge.
"What the American people and the entire world will see from the debate we're about to have in the Senate is that there is abundant support for the United States taking tough positions with regard to Iran", Lee said Wednesday.
Answering a claim by some of Trump's supporters - and Trump himself - that the measure sends a signal of weakness to Iran and other potential adversaries, Kaine said the opposite was true.
After all, Trump has already bypassed Congress on a funding matter once, using the defense budget to begin construction of a wall on the border with Mexico - after Congress refused to provide that funding in the first place. And it's unclear whether the president would bend to such tactics. That dispute is still in the courts, but it offers an ominous guide to the president's willingness to bypass normal constraints.