WASHINGTON       -      The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote Thursday on a resolution calling for President Donald Trump to “terminate the use of U.S. Armed Forces for hostilities against Iran” unless those actions are authorized by Congress.

Trump rejects the measure, arguing it would be dangerous to limit his war-making power, and ahead of the vote he urged the Republican-majority Senate to oppose it.

“It is very important for our Country’s SECURITY that the United States Senate not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution,” Trump said on Twitter.  “We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness.”   Trump tweeted, “Americans overwhelmingly support our attack” on Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, killed in a Trump-ordered drone strike last month at the Baghdad airport.

“If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day,” he said. “Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don”t let it happen!”  Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, the resolution’s sponsor, told the Senate: “The resolution before the body today is about Congress reclaiming its rightful role in decisions about war. The resolution is pretty simple. We should not be at war with Iran, unless Congress votes to authorize such a war.”

He added, “While the president does and must always have the ability to defend the United States from imminent attack, the executive power to initiate war stops there. An offensive war requires a congressional debate and vote.” President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in the Oval Office of the White…

US House to vote this week on legislation aimed at preventing engagement of US forces with Iran unless Congress gives its approval

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But Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, asked, in opposition to the measure, “What message will the Senate send to American service members? Should they doubt whether their own leaders are authorized to defend them?”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, walks from the Senate Floor on Capitol Hill, Feb. 4, 2020 in Washington. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, walks from the Senate Floor on Capitol Hill, Feb. 4, 2020 in Washington. He said, “What message should we send to our regional allies and partners? Can they count on continued solidarity from the United States? What would it say to a real great-power, competitors like Russia and China, if we cannot even remain united in the face of a lesser challenger such as Iran? Let’s send the right message with our votes. Let’s defeat this misguided resolution.”

Another Republican lawmaker, Sen. John Thune, said Trump’s killing of Soleimani was justified, calling the war powers resolution “an ill-advised and potentially problematic response to the president’s action.”

The killing of Soleimani heightened tensions between the United States and Iran last month, reviving a long-running debate over the role Congress should play in overseeing the president’s ability to manage foreign military operations. In the nearly two decades since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, U.S. lawmakers have revisited the issue of congressional approval for conflicts with little success.  But those efforts gained renewed energy following a Jan. 8 intelligence briefing that congressional Democrats and two Republican senators said did not sufficiently inform Congress of the administration’s strategy in the Middle East.