WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a war powers resolution with bipartisan support, 224-194, to limit further military escalation with Iran. Now the Senate will soon vote on a similar bipartisan war powers resolution cosponsored by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and introduced by Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) that would force a debate and vote in Congress to prevent further escalation of hostilities with Iran.
“The Constitution is very clear that only Congress has the authority to declare war and I support Senator Kaine’s resolution to ensure that President Trump comes to Congress first before pursuing any military action against Iran and starting another war in the Middle East,” said Senator Baldwin. “If the President wants to send more young men and women to war, he cannot take a ‘go it alone’ approach and repeat the mistakes of the past. We must have a public debate in Congress, and have a conversation with the American people who are sick and tired of war in the Middle East.”
War powers resolutions are privileged, meaning that the Senate will be forced to vote on the legislation. The resolution underscores that Congress has the sole power to declare war, as laid out in the Constitution. The resolution requires that any hostilities with Iran must be explicitly authorized by a declaration of war or specific authorization for use of military force, but does not prevent the United States from defending itself from imminent attack. The resolution will force a public debate and vote in Congress as intended by the framers of the Constitution to determine whether United States forces should be engaged in these hostilities.
Senator Baldwin has long supported preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and de-escalating tensions with Iran through diplomacy. In 2015, Baldwin supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an historic international agreement with Iran and the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, China, and Russia, that would have verifiably prevented Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. In 2018, President Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the international agreement and has since continued a policy of escalation with Iran. This year, Baldwin voted in support of a Senate amendment to the national defense bill to prohibit unconstitutional war with Iran, which was supported by a bipartisan majority of Senators in June. In addition, Senator Baldwin has cosponsored the introduction of the No War Against Iran Act, which denies the Pentagon of any funds for unauthorized use of military force against Iran.
An online version of this release is available here.