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Udall, Kaine Hail Historic Vote on Iran Amendment

Bipartisan majority in the Senate sends powerful message rebuking Trump administration’s march to war with Iran

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) hailed the Senate’s historic vote on their bipartisan Udall-Kaine amendment to prevent an unconstitutional war with Iran. 51 senators supported the amendment – a bipartisan majority. The final vote tally was 50-40, but the amendment was not adopted because it did not meet the 60-vote threshold.

“Today, a bipartisan coalition – a majority of the Senate – came together to rebuke the Trump administration’s march toward an unauthorized war with Iran,” said Udall. “This bipartisan Senate majority sent a powerful and resounding message: Congress is not going to roll over for an unconstitutional war. President Trump and his advisors should heed this significant vote, change course from the saber-rattling and reckless escalation, and return to serious diplomacy. Because it is crystal clear that neither Congress nor the American public support another disastrous war in the Middle East. I look forward to working with a bipartisan group in the House of Representatives as they, too, move to assert Congress’ war powers in the near future, and hope to see this amendment included in the final version of the NDAA. And to my Republican friends who voted no today – but who publicly agreed that no one wants a war with Iran – I say this: actions speak louder than words. President Trump is brazenly threatening unilateral military action, all while asserting that he does not need congressional authorization for war. The time for Congress to stand up for its constitutional responsibilities is now, before it is too late. I am proud to see the Senate take this strong, historic, and bipartisan vote, because it is our duty to act before another generation of service members is sent to fight in another potentially endless war.”

“Today, the Senate sent a strong message that President Trump cannot bypass Congress to start an illegal war with Iran,” said Kaine. “We didn’t reach the 60-vote threshold we needed to pass it as an amendment to the defense bill, but the vote today demonstrates bipartisan concern that President Trump might pull our troops into an unnecessary war. The debate doesn’t end here; The House now has an opportunity to pass this amendment. As a Senator representing a state so closely connected to the military, I’ll keep pushing Congress to do our constitutional duty and affirm that the United States will not send our troops into war based on the whim of the President.”