Dem senator says he has 51 votes to restrain Trump on Iran; Romney to vote against resolution

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Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, arrives for a closed meeting with fellow Republicans about the looming impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (ABC4 News) – The United States Senate could soon vote on a resolution to assert that President Donald Trump must seek approval from Congress before further military action against Iran.

The War Powers Resolution was introduced by Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia who says he has at least 51 votes to support the bipartisan measure.

The resolution is co-sponsored by two Republican senators, Utah Senator Mike Lee and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.  

“We now have a majority of colleagues, Democratic and Republican, who will stand strong for the principle that we should not be at war without a vote of Congress, and that’s a very positive thing,” Kaine told reporters Tuesday.

Sen. Tim Kaine D-Va., accompanied by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and other senators, speaks during a news conference outside of the Senate chamber, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Utah Senator Mitt Romney (R) is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and chairman of the subcommittee dealing with the Middle East. In a statement Tuesday, he says he plans to vote against the resolution.

Romney says the resolution “sends the wrong message” to Iran.  

 “During this time of heightened tensions with Iran, I believe this resolution would undermine our deterrent capability and send the wrong message to Iran. As it is currently drafted, this resolution would tie the President’s hands in responding to further potential Iranian aggression. The balance of powers between the executive and legislative branches related to the use of military force is a longstanding issue of debate, and it is a debate we should have. However, with American troops in harm’s way, now is not the proper time and this resolution is not the right approach.”

The Democratic-controlled House passed a separate war powers resolution last week. The House measure is not binding on the president and does not require his signature. If the Senate approves the Kaine measure, the House could take up the Senate resolution and send it to Trump.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...

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