Trump’s order to strike Iranian commander sparks fresh debate in Congress over war powers
By: Paul Kane and Image without a caption Paul Kane Senior congressional correspondent and columnist Email Bio Follow Mike DeBonis
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) unveiled plans to use privileges in the War Powers Act to at least force votes on a debate in the Senate on authorizing use of force. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)
A bipartisan clutch of rank-and-file lawmakers seized on President Trump’s order for a lethal missile strike against an Iranian leader to spark a new debate over the parameters for instigating military action.
Arguing that war resolutions from 2001 and 2002 are outdated, some members of the House and Senate have begun exploring options to try to force what has become a long, dormant debate over Congress’s inability to craft a new use-of-force resolution for missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The U.S. drone strike that killed Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani provided new impetus to their efforts.
“We’re now at a boiling point, and Congress must step in before Trump puts even more of our troops in harm’s way,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.).
Kaine later unveiled plans to use privileges in the War Powers Act to at least force votes on a debate in the Senate, hoping to rein in Trump’s ability to wage war without congressional actions.