Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, say Congress has too often shirked "its responsibility to debate the proper use of force to meet global threats."
"That needs to change," they wrote in a column co-authored for The Washington Post on Tuesday. "That's why we have partnered to introduce a resolution that would prohibit war with Iran without congressional authorization."
They noted the U.S. and Iran "have had a troubled relationship for more than 40 years."
"Because of the Iranian regime's insistence on spreading terror throughout the region and its efforts to develop nuclear weapons, multiple administrations have considered a broad range of options — both military and diplomatic — to counter these threats," they said.
And Kaine and Lee said much of America's "interactions with Iran both military and diplomatic, have been carried out by the executive" branch with no congressional authorization.
They claimed a briefing by the administration last week "was infuriatingly dismissive of the role of Congress in decisions about war."
The two men maintained that "congressional debate and deliberation are designed precisely to protect our troops and their families."
They noted their resolution puts "a simple statement before the Senate. We should not be at war with Iran unless Congress authorizes it."
And they added that if the senators are not willing to have this debate "because a war vote is hard or opinion polls suggest that their vote might be unpopular — how dare we order our troops to courageously serve and risk all?"
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