By Tom Udall Press Office
U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), along with U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), filed a bipartisan amendment to the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prohibit funds from being used for military operations against Iran without explicit authorization from Congress. The senators are seeking a vote by the full Senate to reassert Congress’ Constitutional authority over war powers during consideration of the NDAA, which is expected to begin next week.
Full text of the amendment is available HERE.
“It’s time for Congress to step up to our constitutional responsibilities before we find ourselves in another unnecessary and endless war in the Middle East,” said Udall, who has introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent an unconstitutional war with Iran in the last two Congresses. “We need to stand up and take the hard votes. Our troops face live fire and sacrifice their lives – and we should have no sympathy for Congress ducking a vote on whether or not we go to war. Congress has not authorized war with Iran, and we need to make sure that saber rattling and miscalculation don’t spark a catastrophic conflict, before it’s too late.”
“It’s time we have a real conversation on the Senate floor about what another war in the Middle East would do to our troops and the safety of the American people at home. This amendment is a guardrail to prevent Trump from unilaterally starting a war with Iran,” said Kaine, who has led efforts in the Senate to prevent Presidents from going to war without congressional authorization.
“Article 1 Section 8 of our Constitution is clear, that Congress has the authority – the only authority – to declare war. This President, and any president, must first have the approval of the people’s representatives in Congress before asking our sons and daughters to enter into battle,” Durbin said. “This Administration should return to the only reasonable, smart, and effective option on the table for countering Iran – rejoin the nuclear agreement immediately and repair our strained relationship with our own allies.”
“War with Iran would be a disastrous mistake,” said Merkley. “The American people don’t want another costly war in pursuit of regime change in the Middle East. Congress needs to make it clear to the Trump team beating the war drums that we will not allow the U.S. to be dragged into an unauthorized and reckless war with Iran.”