| January 13, 2020 11:40 AM
A measure to limit President Trump’s authority to wage war with Iran could come up for a vote in the Senate as soon as tomorrow. The sponsor of the Senate version, Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine, already has two GOP senators on board, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
But Kaine needs two more Republicans to get the 51 vote simple majority needed for passage, and he’s hoping that Susan Collins of Maine and Jerry Moran of Kansas, who voted in the past for an amendment limiting funding for military action, will push the resolution over the top.
In a Saturday interview on Fox News, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham dismissed the effort to rein in Trump as a meaningless exercise, that has “no effect of law.”
“I don’t doubt their motives,” he told Jeanine Pirro, “They’re … emboldening the enemy.”
“The Congress has the power to declare war. That doesn’t mean that the commander in chief can’t use military force to protect the country without Congress,” Graham, a retired military lawyer, argued. “We’ve declared war less than 10 times in the history of the country, but we’ve had military engagements hundreds of times.”
“He has all the authority he needs to protect troops in the field,” Graham added. “The War Powers Act is blatantly unconstitutional. You cannot have 535 commander in chiefs. Can you imagine what our nation would look like if Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Rand Paul and AOC, and keep going down that list, that we couldn’t defend the nation unless they all agreed?”
Read more from our senior writer on defense and national security in today’s edition of Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense.