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U.S. Congress Nervous over Danger of Iran War

June 27, 2019 (EIRNS)—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has scheduled a vote on the anti-Iran war amendment sponsored by Senators Time Kaine (D-VA) and Tom Udall (D-NM) for June 28. “The vote will start first thing in the morning and be held open into the afternoon to accommodate as many senators as possible,” he said, in reference to those Democrats who participated in the Presidential debates this week in California. The amendment would prohibit funding for a war with Iran that has not been authorized by Congress.

On the House side, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) are demanding that the State Department provide them any and all documents on whether the 2001 or 2002 war authorizations are applicable to military action against Iran.

“Given the life-and-death stakes of the current situation between the United States and Iran, we can think of no issue where it is more imperative for the department to explain its rationale for, interpretation of, and limits upon the legal authorities that have been provided by the Congress,”

they wrote in a letter to the State Department’s acting legal adviser, Marik String. A June 25 article in Slate reports, however, that the legal reasoning that the Trump Administration applied to the missile strikes on Syria in 2017 and 2018 actually was drawn from that used by the Obama Administration for its 2011 campaign against Syria and it may try to apply it, along with the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), to a potential war against Iran.

President Barack Obama’s Office of Legal Counsel argued at the time that there was a two-part test to determine whether the President had the authority to order the strikes on his own: The action in question had to “serve sufficiently important national interests,” and it must not be “sufficiently extensive in ‘nature, scope, and duration’ to constitute a ‘war,’ ” wrote Slate.

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