Sen. Tim Kaine has secured enough Republican votes to pass a revised version of his resolution to curb President Donald Trump’s military efforts in Iran.
Kaine said Tuesday the new resolution now has support from Republican Sens. Todd Young of Indiana and Susan Collins of Maine, giving him the four GOP votes he needs for it to pass. Republicans Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky also back it.
“[I] expect to vote for — if offered the opportunity — the amended Kaine resolution,” Young said earlier Tuesday, emphasizing that he did not support the initial draft. “It’s important that Congress at this time affirm our Article I responsibilities, so long as we don't undermine the president's Article II responsibilities, that's all the Kaine resolution says.”
Collins on Tuesday said Congress can't be sidelined on important decisions.
"The Kaine resolution would continue to allow the President to respond to emergencies created by aggression from any hostile nation, including Iran, and to repel an imminent attack by Iran or its proxy forces," she said in a statement. "It simply makes clear that only the Legislative Branch may declare war or commit our armed forces to a sustained military conflict with Iran.”
Lee and Paul said last week they would also back Kaine's resolution after some changes to its language. Lee announced his support after top Trump administration officials briefed lawmakers about the killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, which the Utah Republican described as “the worst” he’d seen on a military issue in his nine years in the Senate.
Kaine filed a revised version of his resolution last week and could force a vote on it as soon as early next week, unless there’s a unanimous consent agreement. But the Senate impeachment trial could affect the vote’s timing.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday the Senate still needs to work out the timing with impeachment but the "resolution is the right way to go and has the support of all 47 Democrats."
Kaine’s resolution limits the Trump administration’s military actions against Iran without congressional approval. The House passed a similar symbolic measure last week.
Burgess Everett contributed to this report.