Senate Committee Rejects Requiring Congress Sign Off on Iran War

Sens. Murphy, Udall pushed to block unauthorized attack

Congress never authorized a US war in Iran. Under the US Constitution, Congress has sole authority to do that, so that’s seemingly an important deal. With the US engaged in other unauthorized wars, however, it has been little more than a side note, and the Trump Administration has considered Congressional involvement in the process to be optional, at best.

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Tom Udall (D-NM) led an effort on Wednesday to try to reassert Congressional authority, by trying to preemptively de-fund any US war against Iran unless Congress authorized it ahead of time.

This proposal was brought forward at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and immediately failed, 13-9. Murphy said this vote would remind the administration that they don’t have authorization for the war.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan downplayed the matter anyhow, insisting that the US is focusing on “deterrence, not war,” suggesting only Iranian miscalculation really threatened a war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.