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senate Bill S. Joint Res. 68

Should the U.S. Remove Armed Forces Engaged in Hostilities Against Iran?

Argument in favor

President Donald Trump’s decision to eliminate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani through the use of military force was disproportionate and raises the risk of an escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran into an all-out war. This resolution would make it clear that the president must receive authorization from Congress before starting a protracted war with Iran without undermining the military’s ability to defend itself.

jimK's Opinion
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02/13/2020
Nay Sayers: Read the damn legislation! This bill only limits buildups of troops for overt war-like preparation or taking initial military strikes - it does not prevent any defensive actions at all. It is in the Constitution. It is part of the law. It is needed because trump doesn’t care about legal or Constitution restrictions and his cult doesn’t appear to understand that they even exist! … … … Congress, as an institution of our government must assert it’s authority over the Executive Branch in any way possible. It must be categoric and not allowed to be over-ridden or skirted by the Executive Branch. Our country is teetering on a dangerous precipice already by ceding Congressional authority to trump time and time again, leaving him able to thumb his nose at laws, norms and legal strictures. If Congress cannot or will not act to reign trump in, Congress will have effectively eliminated any possibility that Constitutional checks and balances can ever work again; Our democracy will collapse, replaced by an authoritarian governance as history documents has happened to so many European and Middle Eastern democracies. Besides all of the above, it is right and proper for our forces to be able to defend themselves. It is right and proper that we are not staging troops in preparation for a large offensive action- no matter how much the Saudi’s want to pay us to do so. (I still cannot conceive how Congress can accept trump’s comments that is is good to have our forces in the region since the Saudi’s are paying us a lot to have them there- this view is outrageously disrespectful of our military by inferring that our military might is for sale to the highest bidder, that they could ever be regarded as a mercenary force available for hire. This whole concept appalls me and should apall us all),
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Andrew's Opinion
···
02/13/2020
I have seen several wars in my lifetime that weren't approved by congress. Typically, these wars are preceded by exaggerations and lies such as Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction or the lies about the Gulf of Tonkin, a deliberate misrepresentation by our Government to justify the war in Viet Nam. What did we accomplish there that justified losing 58,000 men and women? Now, we are at war in the middle East for 20+ years and what have we accomplished other than further destabilizing an already unstable area of the world? Politicians and corporations fan the flames of these wars for profit. I want vigorous deliberation and debate by the legislative Branch before we go to war.
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JamieD's Opinion
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02/13/2020
Yes. Return the power of waging war to Congress.
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Argument opposed

Congress shouldn’t waste its time by considering a resolution that ultimately won’t do anything to restrain the executive branch’s war powers with respect to Iran. Democrats are using this resolution to score political points and undermine the action taken to eliminate Iranian General Soleimani, who was responsible for killing hundreds of Americans & destabilizing much of the Middle East.

Brian's Opinion
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02/13/2020
This sounds like a gimmick from the Democrats to restrict presidential powers. No need to pass this.
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JTJ's Opinion
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02/13/2020
I agree with how Trump is handling Iran. Congress needs to stay out of it. Besides they are never going to have the majority needed to override Trump’s veto. Waste of time and they know it. All politics and hypocrisy.
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Robert's Opinion
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02/13/2020
As usual the Democrats want to restrict the ability of the president. We have three branches of government. Even thought the Democrats in congress think that they the ruling class and the rest of us should bow down. They are there to represent us hence we are a republic not a democracy, socialist, or communist country. Please start doing the work you were elected to do and put aside your petty differences, work for the people!
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What is Senate Bill S. Joint Res. 68?

This resolution would direct the president to initiate the removal of U.S. Armed Forces engaged in hostilities against Iran within 30 days of this legislation’s enactment unless Congress authorizes the use of military force under the War Powers Resolution. Nothing in this resolution could be construed as preventing the U.S. from defending itself from an imminent attack. This resolution was introduced in response to the recent escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran, such as the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani — who led Iranian-backed militias in Iraq & Syria in addition to providing support to designated terror groups such as Hamas & Hezbollah — and Iran’s ballistic missile strikes on bases in Iraq.

As a joint resolution, this legislation could be approved by both chambers of Congress and sent to the president’s desk for enactment, where it could be signed into law or vetoed.

Impact

The U.S. military; Iran; Congress; and the president.

Cost of Senate Bill S. Joint Res. 68

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced this legislation that will receive privileged consideration on the Senate floor under the War Powers Resolution to block the use of military force by the U.S. against Iran:

“For years, I’ve been deeply concerned about President Trump stumbling into a war with Iran. We’re now at a boiling point, and Congress must step in before Trump puts even more of our troops in harm’s way. We owe it to our servicemembers to have a debate and vote about whether or not it’s in our national interest to engage in another unnecessary war in the Middle East.”

The Trump administration promised to veto this resolution, arguing that the strike that killed Iranian General Soleimani in Iraq was authorized under the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force, which is still in effect and has been used to justify military action against terror groups in Iraq. The White House’s statement of administration policy against this bill argued in part:

"S.J. Res. 68 also should be rejected because it attempts to hinder the President’s ability to protect United States diplomats, forces, allies, and partners, including Israel, from the continued threat posed by Iran and its proxies. Iran has a long history of attacking United States and coalition forces both directly and through its proxies. S.J. Res. 68 could hinder the President’s ability to protect United States forces and interests in the region through actions to de-escalate the threat posed by Iran and its proxies. The resolution’s “rule of construction” that “nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the United States from defending itself from imminent attack” does not remedy this problem. Protecting the national security of the United States could foreseeably require the President to respond to Iranian threats beyond direct attacks on the United States."

In the summer of 2019, an amendment to the FY2020 defense and intelligence authorization bill sought to require congressional approval for any strike against Iran (except in cases of self-defense). The amendment failed by a 50-40 margin which fell short of the 60-vote threshold needed for adoption. It was the longest vote in the history of the Senate, and was held open for 10 hours and 8 minutes to allow Democratic senators participating in presidential debates time to return to the Capitol for the vote.

This legislation has the support of 27 cosponsors in the Senate, including 22 Democrats, three Republicans, and two Independents.

Of NoteIranian General Qassem Soleimani was the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, which functions as a combination of an external intelligence agency and special operations unit. The Quds Force itself is considered a terror organization by the U.S., and supports several terror groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas & the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza & the West Bank, the Houthis in Yemen, and Shia militias in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. The Quds Forces’ activities in Iraq contributed to the deaths of more than 600 American military personnel and the wounding of thousands more in Iraq. Soleimani, along with a senior leader of an Iraqi Shia militia sponsored by Iran, was killed by a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad in January 2020.

A retaliatory missile strike by Iran against U.S. military bases in Iraq resulted in no fatalities, although according to the Pentagon more than 100 U.S. personnel suffered from concussion-like brain injuries in the attack.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force - Senior Airman Cory Payne / Public Domain)

AKA

A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran that have not been authorized by Congress.

Official Title

A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran that have not been authorized by Congress.

joint resolution Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house Passed March 11th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 227 Yea / 186 Nay
  • The senate Rejected May 7th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 49 Yea / 44 Nay
    IntroducedJanuary 9th, 2020

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    Nay Sayers: Read the damn legislation! This bill only limits buildups of troops for overt war-like preparation or taking initial military strikes - it does not prevent any defensive actions at all. It is in the Constitution. It is part of the law. It is needed because trump doesn’t care about legal or Constitution restrictions and his cult doesn’t appear to understand that they even exist! … … … Congress, as an institution of our government must assert it’s authority over the Executive Branch in any way possible. It must be categoric and not allowed to be over-ridden or skirted by the Executive Branch. Our country is teetering on a dangerous precipice already by ceding Congressional authority to trump time and time again, leaving him able to thumb his nose at laws, norms and legal strictures. If Congress cannot or will not act to reign trump in, Congress will have effectively eliminated any possibility that Constitutional checks and balances can ever work again; Our democracy will collapse, replaced by an authoritarian governance as history documents has happened to so many European and Middle Eastern democracies. Besides all of the above, it is right and proper for our forces to be able to defend themselves. It is right and proper that we are not staging troops in preparation for a large offensive action- no matter how much the Saudi’s want to pay us to do so. (I still cannot conceive how Congress can accept trump’s comments that is is good to have our forces in the region since the Saudi’s are paying us a lot to have them there- this view is outrageously disrespectful of our military by inferring that our military might is for sale to the highest bidder, that they could ever be regarded as a mercenary force available for hire. This whole concept appalls me and should apall us all),
    Like (409)
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    This sounds like a gimmick from the Democrats to restrict presidential powers. No need to pass this.
    Like (142)
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    I have seen several wars in my lifetime that weren't approved by congress. Typically, these wars are preceded by exaggerations and lies such as Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction or the lies about the Gulf of Tonkin, a deliberate misrepresentation by our Government to justify the war in Viet Nam. What did we accomplish there that justified losing 58,000 men and women? Now, we are at war in the middle East for 20+ years and what have we accomplished other than further destabilizing an already unstable area of the world? Politicians and corporations fan the flames of these wars for profit. I want vigorous deliberation and debate by the legislative Branch before we go to war.
    Like (223)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes. Return the power of waging war to Congress.
    Like (172)
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    I agree with how Trump is handling Iran. Congress needs to stay out of it. Besides they are never going to have the majority needed to override Trump’s veto. Waste of time and they know it. All politics and hypocrisy.
    Like (102)
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    As usual the Democrats want to restrict the ability of the president. We have three branches of government. Even thought the Democrats in congress think that they the ruling class and the rest of us should bow down. They are there to represent us hence we are a republic not a democracy, socialist, or communist country. Please start doing the work you were elected to do and put aside your petty differences, work for the people!
    Like (95)
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    Thank you Senators Van Hollen & Cardin for voting “Yea”! Armed Forces engaged with Iran will only escalate and needlessly endanger US troops & lives! If this administration wants to constructively engage with Iran (and allies) honor the Iran Agreement & respect US honor! Am encourage to hear it passed the Senate with a 55-45 vote though it’s not a veto proof vote! @burrkitty: I hear you on endless war with no achievable object when our fellow citizens will be removed from harms way!
    Like (67)
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    We need to break this national addiction to war we have in the USA.
    Like (66)
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    This ensures that the president doesn’t have power to start war without congress permission. We need to show President Trump that he is not an autocrat.
    Like (61)
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    No! Iran is a risk to America and other countries. They would like to see both America and Israel cease to exist. Iran cannot be trusted in any way. It is imperative that we maintain some checks and balances and military presence as a result.
    Like (49)
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    I have zero trust in this administration’s decision-making ability. The more power we remove from this deranged self-absorbed criminal, the more comfortable I become.
    Like (49)
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    Please do not take any military options off the table with respect to Iran. It would only serve to diminish the US stature. Certainly no need to make a military response against Iran more bureaucratic, since President Trump is a stable genius.
    Like (45)
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    The Constitution grants Congress the sole power to declare war. As a result of 911, Congress gave the President greater authority to act on its own without congressional oversight, in maters related to defending the US. I believe this bill attempts to pull back on this 911 power and to reinstate congressional involvement in particular regarding acts of war with Iran. It’s a fair start to getting back to what the Constitution had intended.
    Like (40)
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    We need to stop being engaged in wars in the Middle East that we can never win. We have wasted hundreds of lives and trillions of dollars in that region for nearly 20 years, and we have literally nothing to show for it. We could have killed bin Laden with just intelligence and special forces, not a full scale invasion of Afghanistan. We killed Soleimani by drone. None of these terrorist leaders justify all the troops we've deployed, and it has to stop. I'm most horrified that we are still throwing resources and lives at this region while complaining about domestic programs which keep AMERICAN CITIZENS alive, healthy, and whole. Where are our priorities? We would have so much more money to support children, then poor, and the sick if we didn't waste it all on wars in foreign lands. I'm not saying we'll never need to deploy to foreign wars again, but in the past 50 years we have not engaged in any successful wars, and it has to stop.
    Like (33)
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    Support SJ Res 68 Tim Kaine The People’s President MUST receive authorization from The People’s Congress BEFORE a protracted war with Iran. Thank you Hon Sen Jon Tester votes Yea! Sen Daisy can go eat worms!
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    Yes, but it will be interesting to see how far this Bill gets. This refutes Trump and previous Republican policy. It also indicates without open endorsement how the Iran Nuclear Treaty is seen as the only viable recourse but will not be taken up by this Administration. Iran must be approached formally but under this and future Administrations no country will entertain any approach without some sever and substantial penalties for the U.S if we arbitrarily withdraw without cause. We are no longer a fit partner. Iran will primarily go it’s own way. They will be able to develop nuclear weapons if they choose before we will again be taken seriously. All this thanks to the Trump Administration and his supporters. Besides this will never get past McConnell. Asking Trump supporters to read is a little much. Sorry jimK.
    Like (29)
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    The president has constitutional power over this subject and the Democrats want to remove it and put the power in their hands only. Let the president do his job lest, the next Democrat in presidency is going to end up with the same restrictions. It was good for the goose is good for the gander!
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    We need to stay to make sure these radical Islamic extremists don't rebuild their forces. In addition, if the libs want this, then I don't.
    Like (25)
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    The deal that was signed should be re-enacted. We are the aggressor and as such need to make the first move toward peace. Not escalate.
    Like (22)
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    Absolutely not! That Iranian General was directly responsible for the deaths of Many American Military Personnel and countless innocent civilians especially HIS fellow Muslims! The President was well within his right to Whack that SOB and any other that threatens America and our allies! I as a Veteran am fully against this bill!
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