GOP’s Cornyn Hopes for Senate Vote on War Powers This Week

Daniel Flatley and Erik Wasson

(Bloomberg) -- Republican Senator John Cornyn said there’s “some hope“ that the Senate could vote on a resolution to limit President Donald Trump‘s military options against Iran this week, before the House delivers articles of impeachment.

Cornyn’s comments echo Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s speech on the Senate floor earlier Monday when he said he expects to consider a war powers resolution sponsored by Democrat Tim Kaine “very soon.”

The House adopted a similar resolution last week, using a slightly different procedure. It’s unclear whether the Kaine resolution would have enough votes to pass in the GOP-majority Senate. Even if the House and Senate eventually pass the same version, the effort is mostly symbolic since neither chamber is likely to override a Trump veto.

Cornyn also said the Senate could vote before the impeachment trial gets under way on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement that the House passed in December. That could be hard to pull off this week since six Senate committees still haven’t voted on the trade deal, which would update the existing North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Senate Finance Committee advanced the bill implementing the USMCA last week, and other other panels have scheduled hearings this week. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was set to meet Thursday to discuss the deal but is trying to change its hearing to Wednesday, according to a Senate aide. The Appropriations Committee has not yet announced when it will vote on the agreement.

Once the House transmits the impeachment articles against Trump, the Senate trial must be prioritized over all other legislative work. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will send then impeachment articles this week.

To contact the reporters on this story: Daniel Flatley in Washington at dflatley1@bloomberg.net;Erik Wasson in Washington at ewasson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Anna Edgerton

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