The US Senate opened debate Wednesday on a decision to restrict President Donald Trump's authority to go to warfare with Iran, with passage possible after eight Republicans sided with Democrats to advance the invoice. Chuck Schumer - while praising West Virginia's other senator, Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, as a "great person".
But their relationship was tested after Trump froze almost $400 million in security aid and pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate one of the Republican president's Democratic rivals, former vice president Joe Biden. He should veto it with 55 pens, and send one to each of the Senators who voted for it, to remind them of what they tried to do at a moment when our president, and the Iranian people, needed solidarity.
"The nation should not be at war without a vote of Congress", said Sen.
Trump earlier this week asked the Senate not to approve the measure, tweeting "this is not the time to show weakness".
"If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day".
However, he has cast his vote with the Democrats on some of the most high-drama votes during the Trump presidency, including the attempted Obamacare repeal. But there are enough differences between the Senate's version and the House's that it must pass that chamber again before it can be sent to Trump's desk.
The bill's supporters noted that they were gaining more support for efforts to take back Congress' authority to declare war.
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The United States has been the most powerful backer of Ukraine in its standoff with Russian Federation over Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for separatist fighters in a simmering conflict in the eastern Donbass region.
"If you watch the way she said that, with the hatred and the venom coming out of her ears, you just take a look at that", he said, adding that his wife, who was present there, described Pelosi's statement as "horrible".
Senators Johnson, Murphy, and Barrasso stress the need for continued reform in Ukraine.
Last month, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed a war powers resolution similar to the one that the Senate approved on Thursday, also by less than a two-thirds supermajority. Those authorizations have been used - critics say misused - by multiple presidents to justify numerous military actions far outside of Afghanistan and Iraq, without consulting Congress.
Trump's Iran policy is succeeding precisely because he is willing to use military force.
The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the sole responsibility to formally declare war.