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

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
30 mins ago - Energy & Environment
Column / Harder Line

How Trump’s energy endgame could go

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Expect President Trump to redouble his efforts loosening regulations and questioning climate-change science should he win reelection next month.

Driving the news: A second Trump administration would supercharge efforts by certain states, countries and companies to address global warming. But some wildcards could have a greener tinge.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
30 mins ago - Health

The swing states where the pandemic is raging

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, The Cook Political Report; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Several states that are likely to decide which party controls Washington next year have exceptionally large coronavirus outbreaks or are seeing cases spike.

Why it matters: Most voters have already made up their minds. But for those few holdouts, the state of the pandemic could ultimately help them make a decision as they head to the polls — and that's not likely to help President Trump.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Australian city to exit one of world's longest lockdowns — In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe
  4. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure
  5. Nonprofit: Rockefeller Foundation commits $1 billion for COVID-19 recovery