The U.S. Senate failed on Thursday to override a veto by U.S. President Donald Trump of a congressional resolution to curb his ability to enact future U.S. military action against Iran without congressional approval.
The final tally was 49-44, falling short of the constitutionally mandated two-thirds majority needed to override a veto—a result expected after Trump’s veto on Wednesday.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who co-introduced the resolution, said in a speech on Thursday that the measure was “not part of a strategy to hurt President Trump.”
However, in a statement on Wednesday about his veto, Trump said, “This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party. The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands.”
“In addition, S.J. Res. 68 is based on misunderstandings of facts and law. Contrary to the resolution, the United States is not engaged in the use of force against Iran,” stated Trump. “Four months ago, I took decisive action to eliminate Qassem Soleimani while he was in Iraq. Iran responded by launching a series of missiles at our forces stationed in Iraq. No one was killed by these attacks.”
Although no one was killed in the Jan. 8 ballistic-missile attacks at the Ain Al-Asad air base, about 110 U.S. service members were reportedly diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries following the attack. The Irbil air base, which also houses U.S. troops, was also targeted by ballistic missiles. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps took responsibility for the attacks.
“Further, the strike against Soleimani was fully authorized by law, including by the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 and Article II of the Constitution,” said Trump in the White House statement regarding the veto.
The introduction of the resolution came in the aftermath of the Soleimani elimination on Jan. 3.
Finally, said Trump, the resolution “would have greatly harmed the president’s ability to protect the United States, its allies and its partners.”
“The resolution implies that the president’s constitutional authority to use military force is limited to defense of the United States and its forces against imminent attack. That is incorrect. We live in a hostile world of evolving threats, and the Constitution recognizes that the president must be able to anticipate our adversaries’ next moves, and take swift and decisive action in response. That’s what I did! Congress should not have passed this resolution.”