Politics Corker: Senate to unveil new war powers bill on Thursday

03:40  10 april  2018
03:40  10 april  2018 Source:   The Hill

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Bob Corker talking into a microphone © Provided by The Hill Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Monday senators will unveil a new bill on President Trump's war powers this week as lawmakers try to revive a long-stalled debate.

"We'll release a copy of it on Thursday," Corker told reporters when asked about the status of the authorization for the use of military force (AUMF).

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman was mum on the specifics of the forthcoming bill, noting he still has final meetings pending with other senators to lock down the language.

"I mean, we're in the same place we've been. We're working on the same principles we always have and are engaged with the administration and senators and, you know, I hope that in the committee we'll be successful," he said.

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Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on Thursday unveiled a bipartisan bill to slap Iran with new sanctions because of the country’s ballistic missile development, support for U.S.-designated terrorist groups and human rights violations.

John McCain, R-Ariz. unveiled legislation on Thursday that would repeal the 1973 War Powers Resolution, often ignored by presidents of both parties, and replace it with a new law that requires greater consultation and a congressional vote within 30 days on any significant armed conflict.

Asked about his priorities while negotiating the war legislation, Corker signaled he was trying to "balance" the need for congressional oversight without tying the hands of the Trump administration.

"Making sure the administration has the freedoms that are necessary to be successful but at the same time to ensure that Congress has an ongoing role, so I think it's a really good balance the way it is," he said.

The legislation will mark the latest attempt by Congress to sunset the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs, which authorized the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, respectively.

Corker noted the forthcoming legislation would only deal with terrorist organizations and not extend to using military force against the Syrian government.

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New Jersey. Corker told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he expects the legislation to be made public on Thursday and for a vote to take place roughly a week later. The process, which has not included hearings before the relevant Senate committees, is not what Corker would have preferred, he said.

Marsha Blackburn announced she would run for Senate on Thursday , the same day her biggest potential primary challenger, Gov. Bill Haslam, opted out of the contest. In her announcement video Haslam announced earlier Thursday he wouldn't run to replace retiring GOP Sen. Bob Corker .

The Trump administration is currently weighing how to respond to an alleged chemical attack that killed at least 70 people in a town controlled by opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

But GOP senators are quick to say that a "surgical" response, like the airstrike the Trump administration, would not require congressional approval.

The forthcoming war bill comes as the Foreign Relations panel is expected to mark up the legislation later this month.

But senators face engrained policy and political divisions if they want to ultimately get a new war authorization through the chamber.

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation last year that would authorize force against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), al-Qaeda, and the Taliban but require congressional oversight if the Trump administration wanted to expand the fight against the groups outside a set list of countries.

But some Republicans have bristled at putting limitations on any administration's war powers.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced legislation in 2015 that would not include geographic limits for fighting ISIS and wouldn't prohibit the administration from using ground troops against the terrorist group.

Trump backs Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee GOP US Senate bid .
President Donald Trump has endorsed Marsha Blackburn in the Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat from Tennessee. Trump tweeted Thursday that the sitting congresswoman is a "wonderful woman who has always been there when we have needed her." Trump said Blackburn is great on his key issues of the military, border security and crime. He promised to campaign with Blackburn but did not announce any dates.Trump tweeted Thursday that the sitting congresswoman is a "wonderful woman who has always been there when we have needed her." Trump added that she's great on his key issues of the military, border security and crime and works hard for the people of Tennessee.

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