Sorry, Mr. President, Only Congress Has the Authority to Declare War.

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UPDATE: On February 13, the Senate voted 55-45 to pass the Iran war powers resolution. Eight Republicans joined Democrats to pass the resolution (roll call vote here). It was a rare bipartisan assertion of Congress’ sole Constitutional authority to declare war, but it faces a likely veto from the President.

Defending Rights & Dissent joined dozens of other non-governmental organizations asking members of the Senate to support S.J.Res.68, which directs the President to terminate the use of U.S. Armed Forces for hostilities against Iran that have not been authorized by Congress. The resolution was introduced by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Rand Paul (R-KY).

Among the findings noted in the resolution, is the key fact that Congress has the sole power to declare war under article I, section 8, clause 11 of the United States Constitution.

The Senate is expected to begin voting on S.J.Res.68 tomorrow, Feb. 12, with final votes expected Thursday before noon.

Concerningly, the administration has consistently stated that it has the authorization for war with Iran even though Congress has never authorized such action, angering both Republican and Democratic lawmakers. By passing S.J.Res.68, the Senate can take an urgent and critical step in uniting with the House in reasserting Congress’s constitutional role in matters of war and peace.