US Senate failed to override President Donald Trump’s veto on a resolution that was meant to curtail the power of Commander-in-chief to wage war without congressional authorisation. While the majority of votes, 49-44, were in favour of the resolution but fell short of the required two-thirds majority of 67 votes in Senate.
Trump’s action against Tehran in January that led to the killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani escalated the tension between the two nations to a new height. Several Democrats called for legislation to curb the powers of the US President for waging a war without congressional approval.
Later, Tim Kaine, Virginia Senator and member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, introduced war powers resolution which was passed by the House, 227-186, to prevent further escalation of hostilities with Iran without congressional authorization. However, Trump vetoed the resolution calling it “insulting” and said that it was introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win the presidential elections by dividing the Republican Party.
“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 US President had said in a statement.
Justifying his actions against Iran, Trump said that he took a “decisive action” to eliminate Soleimani and Iran retaliated by launching a series of missiles at US forces stationed in Iraq. Highlighting zero fatalities, Trump asserted that the strike against Soleimani was fully authorized by law, including by the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 and Article II of the Constitution.
“The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands,” said Trump.
Reacting to Trump’s veto, Kaine said in a tweet that the US President doesn’t understand the Constitution that he’s sworn to uphold and protect. The Virginia Senator added that Trump views everything, including the coronavirus death toll and the prospect of war, through the lens of himself.