Tom Cotton on War Powers resolution passed by Senate: 'Not every military action leads to war'

Senate Armed Services Committee member Tom Cotton, R-Ark., criticized a measure liming President Trump's authority to order military action against Iran that passed the Senate in a bipartisan vote Thursday.

"Not every military action leads to war with 150,000 troops deployed. We killed one of the world's worst terrorist leaders last month," Cotton told "Bill Hemmer Reports," referring to Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Soleimani. "We are not currently invading Iran or occupying a capital," Cotton said. "There is a range of military action that our commander-in-chief can order to protect our interests."


Eight Senate Republicans joined all 45 Democrats and both independents to pass the measure, which would require the Trump administration to end all military action targeting Iran within a month after the start of potential hostilities unless Congress expressly approves other measures. The bill must still be approved by the House and is expected to be vetoed by the president.

The Republicans who voted for the measure were Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Michael Lee of Utah, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Todd Young of Indiana.

"As far as Congress' role, I agree that Congress plays an important role in keeping this country safe," said Cotton. "The president is the commander-in-chief under Article Two of our Constitution. Congress has the spending power though and if that Congress doesn't like that, we can always limit their ability to spend taxpayer funds."

Cotton added that Democrats are offering "paper resolutions" while actions against people like Soleimani require "iron resolution."

Hemmer said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., -- speaking for the other Republicans who voted against the measure -- argued the bill sends the wrong signal to America's allies and that the entire exercise is a political swipe at Trump.


"The president will veto it and the Ayatollah [of Iran] should take notice," Cotton warned. "This president is ready to defend the United States. They should not take the risk that [Soleimani] did and learned the hard way last month...not to cross this president."

Democrats and some Republicans, have argued that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks is outdated and a new authorization must be passed to outline actions against new threats.

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