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senate Bill S. Joint Res. 68

Should the U.S. Remove Armed Forces Engaged in Hostilities Against Iran?

Argument in favor

President Donald Trump’s decision to eliminate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani through the use of military force was disproportionate and raises the risk of an escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran into an all-out war. This resolution would make it clear that the president must receive authorization from Congress before starting a protracted war with Iran without undermining the military’s ability to defend itself.

jimK's Opinion
···
last Thursday
Nay Sayers: Read the damn legislation! This bill only limits buildups of troops for overt war-like preparation or taking initial military strikes - it does not prevent any defensive actions at all. It is in the Constitution. It is part of the law. It is needed because trump doesn’t care about legal or Constitution restrictions and his cult doesn’t appear to understand that they even exist! … … … Congress, as an institution of our government must assert it’s authority over the Executive Branch in any way possible. It must be categoric and not allowed to be over-ridden or skirted by the Executive Branch. Our country is teetering on a dangerous precipice already by ceding Congressional authority to trump time and time again, leaving him able to thumb his nose at laws, norms and legal strictures. If Congress cannot or will not act to reign trump in, Congress will have effectively eliminated any possibility that Constitutional checks and balances can ever work again; Our democracy will collapse, replaced by an authoritarian governance as history documents has happened to so many European and Middle Eastern democracies. Besides all of the above, it is right and proper for our forces to be able to defend themselves. It is right and proper that we are not staging troops in preparation for a large offensive action- no matter how much the Saudi’s want to pay us to do so. (I still cannot conceive how Congress can accept trump’s comments that is is good to have our forces in the region since the Saudi’s are paying us a lot to have them there- this view is outrageously disrespectful of our military by inferring that our military might is for sale to the highest bidder, that they could ever be regarded as a mercenary force available for hire. This whole concept appalls me and should apall us all),
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Andrew's Opinion
···
last Thursday
I want congressional review on any military action that does not address Immediate and credible threat. We lost more than we gained in the recent assassination. Maybe there were planned attacks, maybe not. Over 100 service members have traumatic brain injuries. Trump might not think that's serious, but as a psychiatric provider, I can tell you that TBI is devastating. I would like to know how many of these soldiers will commit suicide. The high suicide rate among returning service members is largely due to devastating and untreatable consequences of TBI.
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JamieD's Opinion
···
last Thursday
Yes. Return the power of waging war to Congress.
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Argument opposed

Congress shouldn’t waste its time by considering a resolution that ultimately won’t do anything to restrain the executive branch’s war powers with respect to Iran. Democrats are using this resolution to score political points and undermine the action taken to eliminate Iranian General Soleimani, who was responsible for killing hundreds of Americans & destabilizing much of the Middle East.

Brian's Opinion
···
last Thursday
This sounds like a gimmick from the Democrats to restrict presidential powers. No need to pass this.
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JTJ's Opinion
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last Thursday
I agree with how Trump is handling Iran. Congress needs to stay out of it. Besides they are never going to have the majority needed to override Trump’s veto. Waste of time and they know it. All politics and hypocrisy.
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Robert's Opinion
···
last Thursday
As usual the Democrats want to restrict the ability of the president. We have three branches of government. Even thought the Democrats in congress think that they the ruling class and the rest of us should bow down. They are there to represent us hence we are a republic not a democracy, socialist, or communist country. Please start doing the work you were elected to do and put aside your petty differences, work for the people!
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joint resolution Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate Passed February 13th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 55 Yea / 45 Nay
    IntroducedJanuary 9th, 2020

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What is Senate Bill S. Joint Res. 68?

This resolution would direct the president to initiate the removal of U.S. Armed Forces engaged in hostilities against Iran within 30 days of this legislation’s enactment unless Congress authorizes the use of military force under the War Powers Resolution. Nothing in this resolution could be construed as preventing the U.S. from defending itself from an imminent attack. This resolution was introduced in response to the recent escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran, such as the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani — who led Iranian-backed militias in Iraq & Syria in addition to providing support to designated terror groups such as Hamas & Hezbollah — and Iran’s ballistic missile strikes on bases in Iraq.

As a joint resolution, this legislation could be approved by both chambers of Congress and sent to the president’s desk for enactment, where it could be signed into law or vetoed.

Impact

The U.S. military; Iran; Congress; and the president.

Cost of Senate Bill S. Joint Res. 68

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced this legislation that will receive privileged consideration on the Senate floor under the War Powers Resolution to block the use of military force by the U.S. against Iran:

“For years, I’ve been deeply concerned about President Trump stumbling into a war with Iran. We’re now at a boiling point, and Congress must step in before Trump puts even more of our troops in harm’s way. We owe it to our servicemembers to have a debate and vote about whether or not it’s in our national interest to engage in another unnecessary war in the Middle East.”

The Trump administration promised to veto this resolution, arguing that the strike that killed Iranian General Soleimani in Iraq was authorized under the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force, which is still in effect and has been used to justify military action against terror groups in Iraq. The White House’s statement of administration policy against this bill argued in part:

"S.J. Res. 68 also should be rejected because it attempts to hinder the President’s ability to protect United States diplomats, forces, allies, and partners, including Israel, from the continued threat posed by Iran and its proxies. Iran has a long history of attacking United States and coalition forces both directly and through its proxies. S.J. Res. 68 could hinder the President’s ability to protect United States forces and interests in the region through actions to de-escalate the threat posed by Iran and its proxies. The resolution’s “rule of construction” that “nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the United States from defending itself from imminent attack” does not remedy this problem. Protecting the national security of the United States could foreseeably require the President to respond to Iranian threats beyond direct attacks on the United States."

In the summer of 2019, an amendment to the FY2020 defense and intelligence authorization bill sought to require congressional approval for any strike against Iran (except in cases of self-defense). The amendment failed by a 50-40 margin which fell short of the 60-vote threshold needed for adoption. It was the longest vote in the history of the Senate, and was held open for 10 hours and 8 minutes to allow Democratic senators participating in presidential debates time to return to the Capitol for the vote.

This legislation has the support of 27 cosponsors in the Senate, including 22 Democrats, three Republicans, and two Independents.

Of NoteIranian General Qassem Soleimani was the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, which functions as a combination of an external intelligence agency and special operations unit. The Quds Force itself is considered a terror organization by the U.S., and supports several terror groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas & the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza & the West Bank, the Houthis in Yemen, and Shia militias in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. The Quds Forces’ activities in Iraq contributed to the deaths of more than 600 American military personnel and the wounding of thousands more in Iraq. Soleimani, along with a senior leader of an Iraqi Shia militia sponsored by Iran, was killed by a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad in January 2020.

A retaliatory missile strike by Iran against U.S. military bases in Iraq resulted in no fatalities, although according to the Pentagon more than 100 U.S. personnel suffered from concussion-like brain injuries in the attack.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force / Public Domain)

AKA

A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran that have not been authorized by Congress.

Official Title

A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran that have not been authorized by Congress.

    Nay Sayers: Read the damn legislation! This bill only limits buildups of troops for overt war-like preparation or taking initial military strikes - it does not prevent any defensive actions at all. It is in the Constitution. It is part of the law. It is needed because trump doesn’t care about legal or Constitution restrictions and his cult doesn’t appear to understand that they even exist! … … … Congress, as an institution of our government must assert it’s authority over the Executive Branch in any way possible. It must be categoric and not allowed to be over-ridden or skirted by the Executive Branch. Our country is teetering on a dangerous precipice already by ceding Congressional authority to trump time and time again, leaving him able to thumb his nose at laws, norms and legal strictures. If Congress cannot or will not act to reign trump in, Congress will have effectively eliminated any possibility that Constitutional checks and balances can ever work again; Our democracy will collapse, replaced by an authoritarian governance as history documents has happened to so many European and Middle Eastern democracies. Besides all of the above, it is right and proper for our forces to be able to defend themselves. It is right and proper that we are not staging troops in preparation for a large offensive action- no matter how much the Saudi’s want to pay us to do so. (I still cannot conceive how Congress can accept trump’s comments that is is good to have our forces in the region since the Saudi’s are paying us a lot to have them there- this view is outrageously disrespectful of our military by inferring that our military might is for sale to the highest bidder, that they could ever be regarded as a mercenary force available for hire. This whole concept appalls me and should apall us all),
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    This sounds like a gimmick from the Democrats to restrict presidential powers. No need to pass this.
    Like (62)
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    I want congressional review on any military action that does not address Immediate and credible threat. We lost more than we gained in the recent assassination. Maybe there were planned attacks, maybe not. Over 100 service members have traumatic brain injuries. Trump might not think that's serious, but as a psychiatric provider, I can tell you that TBI is devastating. I would like to know how many of these soldiers will commit suicide. The high suicide rate among returning service members is largely due to devastating and untreatable consequences of TBI.
    Like (105)
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    Yes. Return the power of waging war to Congress.
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    Thank you Senators Van Hollen & Cardin for voting “Yea”! Armed Forces engaged with Iran will only escalate and needlessly endanger US troops & lives! If this administration wants to constructively engage with Iran (and allies) honor the Iran Agreement & respect US honor! Am encourage to hear it passed the Senate with a 55-45 vote though it’s not a veto proof vote! @burrkitty: I hear you on endless war with no achievable object when our fellow citizens will be removed from harms way!
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    I agree with how Trump is handling Iran. Congress needs to stay out of it. Besides they are never going to have the majority needed to override Trump’s veto. Waste of time and they know it. All politics and hypocrisy.
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    As usual the Democrats want to restrict the ability of the president. We have three branches of government. Even thought the Democrats in congress think that they the ruling class and the rest of us should bow down. They are there to represent us hence we are a republic not a democracy, socialist, or communist country. Please start doing the work you were elected to do and put aside your petty differences, work for the people!
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    I am so sick of all these endless wars.
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    This ensures that the president doesn’t have power to start war without congress permission. We need to show President Trump that he is not an autocrat.
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    Please do not take any military options off the table with respect to Iran. It would only serve to diminish the US stature. Certainly no need to make a military response against Iran more bureaucratic, since President Trump is a stable genius.
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    No! Iran is a risk to America and other countries. They would like to see both America and Israel cease to exist. Iran cannot be trusted in any way. It is imperative that we maintain some checks and balances and military presence as a result.
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    I have zero trust in this administration’s decision-making ability. The more power we remove from this deranged self-absorbed criminal, the more comfortable I become.
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    Support SJ Res 68 Tim Kaine The People’s President MUST receive authorization from The People’s Congress BEFORE a protracted war with Iran. Thank you Hon Sen Jon Tester votes Yea! Sen Daisy can go eat worms!
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    The Constitution grants Congress the sole power to declare war. As a result of 911, Congress gave the President greater authority to act on its own without congressional oversight, in maters related to defending the US. I believe this bill attempts to pull back on this 911 power and to reinstate congressional involvement in particular regarding acts of war with Iran. It’s a fair start to getting back to what the Constitution had intended.
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    trump has again interfered in a criminal case having Barr reduce the sentence of trumps co-conspirator Roger Stone, who was found guilty of lying to Congress and witness tampering. trump is running out of friends who aren’t in jail, being prosecuted or pleading guilty. $650 a night at Mara Lago and $17,000 a month at Bedminster is what the tax payers are being charged by trump for the secret service to stay at his resorts. We now live in trumps world where you are punished for speaking out against what is wrong, trump has removed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his brother, as well as Gordon Sondland. 75% of Americans think there should have been witnesses and FOXs own poll shows half of Americans think he should be convicted and removed. 24 emails show trumps thoughts on withholding Ukraine aid and the Justice Department is refusing to release them unredacted. A congressional budget office says our deficit will surpass $1 trillion this year in part because of trumps 2017 tax cuts and increased government spending. trump told Bolton to withhold Ukrainian aid until they announced an investigation against his political rival. trump has rolled back parts of the Clean Water Act that would directly benefit real estate developers. Shit water for us, big buildings for him. trump has made it easier for our kids to eat junk foods at school instead of healthy alternatives because he is petty and does not care at all when it comes to our children. Marie Yovanovitch a U.S. ambassador was followed, threatened and then fired all at the direction of or directly by our president in exchange for dirt on a political rival from a Ukrainian prosecutor who didn’t like her because of her support for anti corruption groups. Russian spies hacked into Ukrainian gas company behind trumps conspiracies, again entangling Moscow in our politics. trump is trying to divert another $7.2 billion in pentagon funds for a wall that no one wants and wouldn’t work. Accused Obama of being week, pathetic and a bad negotiator so he was going to start a war with Iran in order to win re election. So much for bringing the troops home. 90 minutes after phone call with Ukraine president aid was withheld. Christianity Today now says trump should be removed from office. White House officials feared Putin influenced trumps views on Ukraine. trump, “I new it was Ukraine because Putin told me.” trumps inspector general report says FBI had authorized purpose to investigate trump campaign Russian ties. Three constitutional scholars have stated trump has committed, what is clearly spelled out in the Constitution of the United States, impeachable offenses. Attorney General Barr’s handpicked prosecutor says there is no evidence that supports Russia investigation was a setup or hoax. Why was bipartisan approved military aid to Lebanon held up for months by White House.(Jared Kushner has a lot of ties to that part of the world) Giuliani in talks to be paid by Ukraine official, while they were working together to attack trumps political opponent. Donald McGhan ordered to comply with subpoena. Bolton’s next:) Devin Nunez met with Ukrainians and directly pushed for Biden investigations. The meetings were set up by Giuliani’s Russian criminal friend Lev Parnas. Sondland was on a “Domestic Political Errand.” Was there a quid pro quo? Sondland, “Yes, Everyone was in the loop”. David Holmes, testified that Ukrainian officials “came to understand what was required” in order to get military assistance and a meeting with trump. U.S. ambassador to Ukraine felt threatened by trumps remarks and was threatened by trump while testifying. Long time friend and confidant of trump Roger Stone, found guilty of lying and witness tampering. trump has asked the Supreme Court to keep his taxes hidden. So, no more separation of powers in the government? trump sought status of Ukraine investigations showing aid was depended on the investigations themselves. trump complains that witnesses all speak from 2nd and 3rd hand knowledge yet ordered Mulvaney not to testify. Laura Cooper testified that the Pentagon sought clarification from the trump administration about the hold up of the Ukraine aide and received none. A second person has said they reported sexual misconduct involving a former doctor who’s been accused of sexually abusing nearly 300 men over a 17-year period to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his staff felt they would not get the millions of dollars in aid money without publicly committing to launch the investigations Trump wanted. Senior trump administration officials considered resigning en masse in a ‘midnight self massacre’. State Department official says Giuliani was engaged in a campaign ‘full of lies and incorrect information’ about former ambassador. trump has issued pardons for two soldiers being tried for war crimes and returned rank to a soldier who took a selfie with a dead body. trump to pay $2 million for charity foundation misuse. trump wanted attorney general Barr to hold a news conference saying the president broke no laws on Ukraine call. White House official who heard trumps call with Ukraine president was told to keep quite. White House lawyer moved transcript of trump call to classified server after Ukraine adviser raised alarms. He has politicized our national security and has chosen Putin and other dictators over our own congress and security agencies. “I stated to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the NSC was going to get involved in or push,” Vindman adds. Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council is testifying that trump demanded that a foreign government investigate an American citizen in exchange for Congresses approved aide. Just reached a $984 billion deficit while he lines his pockets with our tax dollars and foreign money at his resorts. $400 million in aide money was withheld from Ukraine back in August and Ukrainian leaders were told it was not red tape, that they needed to talk to Chief of Staff Mulvaney to resolve it and make a CNN statement about Biden in order to receive said aide. Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, is running a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine that circumvents U.S. officials and career diplomats in order to personally benefit President trump. Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas. Look them up. North Korea just tested a submarine launched missile. Deserted our Kurdish allies who have been fighting ISIS with us and now are being slaughtered. All because he has a tower in Istanbul. “The Americans betrayed us. We do not trust them anymore,” she added. These used to be our Kurdish allies that stood against ISIS. He is refusing to comply with the law. He is using the power of the presidency to withhold aide to one of the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet in exchange for political favors in order to sway the 20/20 election. He is acting like a criminal and threatening the life of the whistleblower. Mr. America first is sending troops to Saudi Arabia in support of a murdering dictator who spends millions at his hotels and resorts. Corey Lewandowski testified to congress that trump ordered him to obstruct justice. He is blocking information that pertains to the safety of our country from reaching congress. He has been threatening NOAA, a federal agency, with punishment if they do not disavow the truth and side with his lies. He invited the Taliban to Camp David the week of 9/11. He is a #PussyAssBitch He’s doctoring weather maps to try and prove he’s not an idiot. He has stayed at trump properties 293 days in 3 years, that’s our tax dollars going directly into his pocket. He took money from military daycares to pay for a wall that won’t work and no one wants. The Vice President and the Attorney General are both spending tax payer dollars on trump hotels, lining his pockets and currying his favor. He has privately instructed aides to skirt laws and regulations to get the wall built faster — and told them he will pardon them if necessary. He is pressuring a government agency to give a contract for his wall to a company whose chief executive is a donor to one of his top GOP allies in Congress. He took hundreds of millions from 127 different projects (FEMA being one of those) for his wall. He thinks nuking a hurricane is an idea. He is host the next G-7 at one of his own resorts. Again our tax dollars paying him directly. He taunted Iran by tweeting a classified image of an Iranian rocket that had exploded, thereby potentially compromising U.S. intelligence capabilities. His own company would save millions from the low interest rates he is demanding. He was going to give you tax cuts through your paychecks but decided not to. This year the richest of us payed less in taxes than the rest of us. He is destroying the economy with HIS trade war. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). He made fun of republicans being afraid of the NRA and then caved after a 30 minute phone conversation with them. He bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. He is refusing flue shots, that protect us all(google influenza pandemic), to immigrant children. He is attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. He thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. He has: Obstructed Justice. Is profiting from the Presidency. Colluded - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocated political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Saudi funded lobbyist rented 500 rooms at a trump hotel he never divested from right after he became president. Wonder why? Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Idiot: Has allowed North Korea to grow there nuclear weapons program. Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a criminal investigation of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
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    Yes, but it will be interesting to see how far this Bill gets. This refutes Trump and previous Republican policy. It also indicates without open endorsement how the Iran Nuclear Treaty is seen as the only viable recourse but will not be taken up by this Administration. Iran must be approached formally but under this and future Administrations no country will entertain any approach without some sever and substantial penalties for the U.S if we arbitrarily withdraw without cause. We are no longer a fit partner. Iran will primarily go it’s own way. They will be able to develop nuclear weapons if they choose before we will again be taken seriously. All this thanks to the Trump Administration and his supporters. Besides this will never get past McConnell. Asking Trump supporters to read is a little much. Sorry jimK.
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    We need to stop being engaged in wars in the Middle East that we can never win. We have wasted hundreds of lives and trillions of dollars in that region for nearly 20 years, and we have literally nothing to show for it. We could have killed bin Laden with just intelligence and special forces, not a full scale invasion of Afghanistan. We killed Soleimani by drone. None of these terrorist leaders justify all the troops we've deployed, and it has to stop. I'm most horrified that we are still throwing resources and lives at this region while complaining about domestic programs which keep AMERICAN CITIZENS alive, healthy, and whole. Where are our priorities? We would have so much more money to support children, then poor, and the sick if we didn't waste it all on wars in foreign lands. I'm not saying we'll never need to deploy to foreign wars again, but in the past 50 years we have not engaged in any successful wars, and it has to stop.
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    Brian 1 & Brian 2& ROBERT. WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING- GOING TO WAR - even taking out of another government’s OFFICIAL- IS NOT A PART OF THE PRESIDENT’s DUTIES. GOING TO WAR CAN ONLY BE THROUGH THE CONGRESS. CONGRESS HAS NOT GIVEN ANY OK TO ANY OF THE THINGS TRUMP HAS DONE. Roberts & Moran - PASS THIS RESOLUTION SO WE WON’T GET INTO WWIII.
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    Power must remain with congress to wage war
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    The president has constitutional power over this subject and the Democrats want to remove it and put the power in their hands only. Let the president do his job lest, the next Democrat in presidency is going to end up with the same restrictions. It was good for the goose is good for the gander!
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