Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (center). Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Senate blocked an amendment that would have required congressional approval in advance of an attack on Iran. The vote was 50-40, with four Republicans among those voting for the measure.

Why it matters: Per the AP: The U.S. military has, in recent years, been "deployed under war authorizations passed in 2001 and 2002 for conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan." Lawmaker have unsuccessfully tried to pass new war powers acts, with the House voting to repeal those authorizations last week.

The big picture: Friday's amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) needed 60 votes to be included in the $750 billion spending bill. Heightened tensions between the two countries have brought back fears that the U.S. could be on course for war with Iran. President Trump recently asserted he does not need congressional approval to order military action against Iran.

What they're saying: "None of our Democratic friends would be supporting this if there were a Democratic president. This clearly restricts administrations of both parties who we've seen take measured responses to Iranian acts of terror over the years going back to 1979," Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the amendment this week.

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) urged the House to include a similar measure in its version of the defense spending bill, expected for debate next month, the Washington Post reports.

Go deeper: How Trump and Tehran came to the brink of war

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General Motors tries to revive incendiary lawsuit vs. Fiat Chrysler

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

General Motors is trying to revive an incendiary lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with explosive new allegations including bribes paid from secret offshore bank accounts and a union official acting as a double agent between the two automotive giants.

Why it matters: The extraordinary legal battle is occurring amid earth-shaking changes in the global auto industry that threaten to turn both litigants into dinosaurs if they aren't nimble enough to pivot to a future where transportation is a service, cars run on electrons and a robot handles the driving.

2 hours ago - Health

Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning

Gov. Cuomo on July 23 in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all school districts across the state can choose to reopen for in-person learning because it has so far maintained low enough coronavirus transmission rates.

Why it matters: It’s another sign that the state, once the global epicenter of the pandemic, has — at least for now — successfully curbed the spread of the virus even as infections have surged elsewhere around the country.

Appeals court allows House Democrats to continue lawsuit for Don McGahn testimony

Don McGahn in an October 2018 Cabinet meeting. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A D.C. appeals court on Friday allowed House Democrats to continue their case for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn before the House Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: The ruling has broader implications beyond this specific instance, agreeing that Congress has the standing to sue to enforce subpoenas against executive branch officials even if the White House refuses to comply.