Most Senators Oppose War with Iran Without Congressional Approval
Washington, D.C. — June 28, 2019 — In response to the Senate voting 50-40 in favor of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to block funding for military action against Iran without congressional approval, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement:
“Because of the Trump administration’s policy of maximum provocation towards Iran, our nation stands on the precipice of another blunderous war of choice in the Middle East. Thankfully, the Senate just reiterated what the Constitution already states in no uncertain terms—that the president cannot start a war without congressional approval. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to block this bipartisan vote and debate at every turn. Ultimately, he succumbed to pressure led by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Rand Paul (R-KY), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mike Lee (R-UT), but required a 60-vote threshold that blocked the amendment’s passage.
“In these turbulent times, it’s worth remembering how the Trump administration’s policies created this crisis. President Trump says he wants to ensure that Iran never gets nuclear weapons, but he unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement that keeps Iran’s nuclear program in check. He says he wants to negotiate a better deal, but he’s imposed crippling sanctions on Iran that have shut the door on any near-term hopes for diplomacy. He says he doesn’t want a war, but he came within ten minutes of starting one.
“Congress stepping up to assert its constitutional authority over war is a welcome development, but with this administration’s history of sidestepping congressional authority, Congress must use every tool at its disposal to block the president’s path to war with Iran. Congress must repeal the overly broad 2001 war authorization, which the administration has suggested might apply to a war with Iran. Congress should also push for a return to U.S. compliance with the Iran nuclear agreement, and for other diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions and walk us back from the brink.”
Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest grassroots peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to international conflicts. The public may learn more and take action at www.PeaceAction.org.