Jan 14, 2020

Tim Kaine says Senate has votes to pass Iran war powers resolution

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said Tuesday that he's secured the 51 Senate votes needed to pass a revised version of his war powers resolution, which would require President Trump to seek approval from Congress before taking further military action against Iran, per the AP.

Why it matters: The bipartisan resolution, which has the backing of Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Todd Young (R-Ind.), illustrates the degree to which the Trump administration's actions against Iran have tested the president's Republican allies.

The big picture: The House already passed a separate war powers resolution last week, but its version did not have the force of law. Republicans who support curbing Trump's military powers criticized House Democrats for not putting forth a binding resolution that would go to the president's desk for a signature.

  • "This is a statement of the Congress of the United States," Speaker Pelosi said at the time. "I will not have that statement diminished by having the president veto it or not."
  • The Senate resolution would likely be passed by the House and vetoed by the president. It's unlikely that either chamber would have the two-thirds majority necessary to override the veto.

What to watch: The Senate could vote as soon as next week on the measure, according to Kaine.

Go deeper: House passes war powers resolution condemning military action against Iran

Go deeper

House votes to send articles of impeachment to Senate

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House approved a resolution on Wednesday appointing House managers for the impeachment trial and transmitting the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Rep Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) was the sole Democrat to vote against the resolution.

Why it matters: The vote triggers the start of the long-anticipated Senate trial, which has been delayed for nearly a month after the House approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Go deeperArrowJan 15, 2020

Draft of McConnell's rules for trial still allows motion to dismiss

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) at a hearing last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is preparing a resolution that would leave room for President Trump's lawyers to move immediately to dismiss the impeachment charges if they so choose, according to Republican Sen. Josh Hawley.

Yes, but: Republican Senate leaders, including McConnell and Roy Blunt, the senior senator from Missouri, have already said members aren't interested in a vote to dismiss. And it seems unlikely that Trump's team would push for what would almost certainly be a losing vote — a move that could be seen as a sign of weakness at the outset of the trial.

Go deeperArrowJan 18, 2020

McConnell changes rules for Senate impeachment trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks back to the Senate through the Capitol Rotunda. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revised the terms for President Trump's impeachment trial during Tuesday's proceedings, after his office released the organizing resolution on Monday.

What's new: The House record will be admitted as evidence, but each side retains the ability to raise motions regarding what can be added or struck as evidence, a McConnell spokesperson told Axios. House Democratic managers and Trump's defense team will be given up to 24 hours over three days to present their cases, instead of the two days in McConnell's original draft.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 21, 2020