Durbin Statement On Senate Passage Of Iran War Powers Resolution

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today released the following statement after the Senate voted to pass a war powers resolution, introduced by Durbin and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) last month, to prevent a war with Iran without congressional approval.  In January, the House passed a similar war powers resolution 224 to 194.  It will now go to the President’s desk for his signature or veto.

“Today, the Senate finally found its bipartisan voice and asserted its Constitutional authority to decide whether to declare war.  I was proud to join Senator Kaine in introducing this measure and urge the President to sign this resolution without delay.” 

The resolution underscores that Congress has the sole power to declare war, as laid out in the Constitution.  The resolution requires that any hostilities with Iran must be explicitly authorized by a declaration of war or specific authorization for use of military force, but does not prevent the United States from defending itself from imminent attack.  The resolution will force a public debate and vote in Congress as intended by the framers of the Constitution to determine whether United States forces should be engaged in these hostilities.

In June, Durbin voted for a bipartisan measure to prohibit funds from being used for military operations against Iran without explicit authorization from Congress.  He was also a cosponsor of this measure.

In 2015, Durbin led the effort in the Senate that ultimately allowed the Iran nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), to proceed, securing enough votes to block an effort to derail it.

Full text of the Kaine-Durbin war powers resolution is available here