In either a rare act of bipartisanship, or a desperate attempt to save their hopes for re-election, eight Republican senators joined ranks with Democrats in a vote to limit the Trump administration’s war powers without the permission of Congress. This included the notoriously unreliable Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. This happened despite pushback from the administration, with Donald Trump claiming a vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution would be dangerous to national security on Twitter, and Mitch McConnell calling the legislation “blunt and clumsy” in a Senate floor speech.
Naysayers might fear that Trump will either veto this bill or ignore it entirely – reasons why a handful of Republicans in both the House and Senate had few qualms against signing it, despite McConnell’s preposterous warning that this may embolden Iran – even though the country would have no need to retaliate had Donald Trump not gone and committed an act of war in the first place.
Trump very well may veto it, but that’s not quite the whole picture. Aside from the optics of how it would look whether he gives in to the Senate or refuses (which would be bad either way for him and fellow Republicans), it once again brings Iran to the forefront at a fairly inconvenient time for Trump.
The number of potential injuries from Iran’s retaliatory strike continues to grow, while Trump denies there was a problem. It brings up issues of national security for the current crop of presidential candidates in the race – something you can expect to see bleed into the next set of debates, making it difficult for Trump to distract his way out of this one again. We also know that a few Republicans like Lindsey Graham, also up for re-election, had advance knowledge of the airstrike on Soleimani. This raises the question of what did they know and when did they know it?
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making