On Thursday, the US Senate approved a bipartisan measure to restrain US President Donald Trump’s authority to launch military operations against Iran. It also brought sharp criticism against his foreign policy despite a week earlier acquitting him in his impeachment trial.
Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, the head of the move, says Trump must win approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran. Eight senators of Trump’s Republican Party joined with Democrats to pass the resolution by 55-45 vote.
Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer said after the vote, “The Senate just sent a clear shot across the bow — a bipartisan majority of senators don’t want the president waging war without congressional approval.”
The resolution will head to the Democratic-led House of Representatives, which passed a text in a similar form last month. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer claimed the House could take up the Senate resolution later this month.
The effort is quite similar to an earlier attempt by Congress to end US support for Saudi Arabia’s devastating offensive in Yemen.
A rocket hit an Iraqui base housing US troops just a few moments before the vote, the first attack on the site since a December 27, as per Iraqi and US security sources. However, there were reports of casualties.
The rocket attack killed an American civilian contractor and injured four U.S. service members. Following the incident, President Trump ordered a drone strike on Baghdad airport that killed a top Iranian commander Qassim Suleimani. The conflict further escalated the regional tensions between the two countries.
According to Tim Kaine expressed his concern that after Soleimani’s death, the U.S. was rushing into another Middle East war without debate. Last year, the Trump administration designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization, which is, for the first time, the U.S. has taken such a decision.