The Senate Foreign Relations Committee rejected a resolution which would have preemptively defunded a war with Iran if the White House did not obtain prior congressional approval.
The aim of the resolution was to block using funds to “support kinetic military operations in or against Iran unless such operations are specially authorized by an act or joint resolution of Congress that is enacted after the date of the enactment of this act.”
The power and responsibility of approving a war is supposed to belong to Congress, but that all changed with the 2001 Authorization of Military Force which was implemented in the days following the September 11th attacks. It has since been used to authorize conflict 41 times in 18 countries — all without congressional authorization.
On Wednesday, the Senate panel voted 13-9 against the bill introduced by Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Tom Udall (D-NM) that would have given power back to Congress. The bill was rejected by every Republican, except for Senator Rand Paul (R-KY).
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) May 22, 2019
“Congress is a co-equal branch that has the sole authority to declare war – so we don’t have to sit around and watch this administration spiral us into another endless conflict in the Middle East,” Udall said in a statement about the resolution.
Sen. Murphy added that the vote was to “remind this administration that they do not have legal authorization to launch a war against Iran without our consent and that no one else is responsible but Trump for putting us on this blind campaign of escalation with no off-ramp.”
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan claimed that the administration is not planning to go to war with Iran.
“We have deterred attacks based on our reposturing of assets, deterred attacks against American forces,” he said during a gaggle with reporters. “Our biggest focus at this point is to prevent Iranian miscalculation. We do not want the situation to escalate. This is about deterrence, not about war.”
Shanahan’s claims, however, stand in contrast to the news that the Pentagon is planning to ask the White House for 10,000 more boots on the ground in the Middle East on Thursday.
The plans, US officials told the Associated Press, is to “beef up defenses against potential Iranian threats.”
“The officials said no final decision has been made yet, and it’s not clear if the White House would approve sending all or just some of the requested forces. Officials said the move is not in response to any new threat from Iran, but is aimed at reinforcing security in the region. They said the troops would be defensive forces, and the discussions include additional Patriot missile batteries, more ships and increased efforts to monitor Iran,” AP reports.
Following Wednesday’s vote, Sen. Udall lamented that by the time Senate comes back from their Memorial Day recess we could be in a new war.
“It’s a very important amendment for the timing we’re in,” he said, according to a report from Roll Call. “At the end of this week, we’re going on break. With this building up, there’s a huge potential for miscalculation. When we return, we could be in the middle of a war.”
“It’s important that we lower the level of tension and try to put this on the route that if they want to go to war, come in and tell us what your case is and why,” Udall said.
Rep. Udall also spoke at the bipartisan Concerned Veterans for America’s Uniting for a Better Foreign Policy Luncheon where Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) asserted that “real morality and real toughness is standing up to the pro-war special interests and globalist powerbrokers. Real morality is affirming forever that the blood of American troops is not for sale to anyone, at any cost.”
“The so-called experts behind our failed foreign policy have not learned from their mistakes because they have never been held accountable for them. And so today the saber-rattling persists, and is directed toward Venezuela, Yemen, and most disturbingly, Iran,” said Gaetz. “As we look to these countries, it is our task to ensure that we don’t just recount the mistakes of past decision-makers, but that we learn from them. We must resolve not to start unwise wars or put our military in unwinnable and endless conflicts.”
On Tuesday, in contrast to the Senate vote, the House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to the annual defense spending bill introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) that would end the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).
“The 2001 AUMF has been used as a blank check for endless war by three Administrations,” said Rep. Lee in a statement. “As the Trump Administration escalates tensions with Iran, it is more important than ever for Congress to reassert its constitutional authority. We must start by repealing the overly broad 2001 AUMF and do our job to debate and vote on any replacement.”
MUST WATCH: California Restaurant Owner Blocks Health Inspector’s Car, ‘If We Can’t Work, You Can’t Work’
A GoFundMe campaign to support the restaurant has raised over $20,000.
A heroic California restaurant owner blocked in a Los Angeles County health inspector’s car after he attempted to shut his business down for allowing outdoor dining, asserting that “if we can’t work, you can’t work.”
Carlos Roman, the owner of Bread & Barley in Covina, did not back down even after police arrived.
“He wants to come in here and say that no one can work, so he can’t work either,” Roman told the officer. “He decided to come today and take photos of the people outside and say that he was going to fine us,” he explained.
Roman refused to move his truck, telling the officer to go ahead and get her supervisor.
“This is what happens when people get desperate. I’m desperate. Who is going to pay her car payment? Who is going to pay my cook’s rent?” Roman asked the officer. “I want it to be hard on everyone. I want everyone to see how hard this sh-t is.”
The outraged owner demanded to know if the inspector and the officer got paychecks last week, asserting that his employees haven’t.
“You’re just doing your job right, we’re all in this together?” Roman asked the inspector. “When I go to the bank, can I tell the bank the health department said it’s ok and that I don’t have to pay you?”
“What do I tell my employees?” Roman shouted.
Roman is now facing two $500 fines for failure to comply and interfering with the health officer.
A GoFundMe campaign to support the restaurant has raised over $20,000.
Hunter Biden’s Ex-Wife, Kathleen, Tells Him He is a Better Father Than Joe Biden Was
In an email to her ex-husband Hunter Biden, Kathleen Biden told her troubled former spouse that he is a better father than Joe Biden was.
The cryptic email was found in a trove of documents currently being reviewed in a joint effort by District Herald and the Nationalist Review, provided to us on Friday by a source who obtained them from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
“I want you to know that you are a great father – a better father than your dad. Your girls love you because you love them for who they are. You haven’t judged them, you have loved them for who they are. You listen and you make them and their problems important to you. You make them great because you allow them to be who they are without unfair expectations. You are patient, caring, and loving,” Kathleen Biden wrote. “I know you and I have struggled but your love for the girls hasn’t waivered. Remember how we use to joke that the girls didn’t have anything to survive to make them strong and interesting? Well, we gave it to them! They did survive it and they are stronger. Through it all they never questioned your love or commitment.”
Kathleen Biden asserted that the former Vice President “wasn’t perfect” as a father.
“I know you love your dad and I do too but he wasn’t perfect,” the mother of Hunter’s children continued. “No one is perfect. At your core, you taught our girls what was important. They are kind, thoughtful, open, curious, funny, compassionate and hard working. You were as much a part of that as I was in helping them grow. Don’t ever question whether you were as good a father as your dad. You were better, in every way.”
In response, Hunter wrote that he worries he has failed them. “Thank you for this it means everything to me. I worry so much that I have failed you all in so many ways,” he said.
Hunter also acknowledged that he will need to earn his children’s trust and respect back, though the reason is unclear.
“I know the girls love me- but I often wonder if they trust and respect me. I know it’s something I have to earn back. And I know that you are the best mother I have ever known. You have raised three incredible young women. We are so lucky to have them, and I am so lucky to have met you 23 years ago. Thank you,” he wrote.
High School Football Players Suspended for Carrying Thin Blue, Thin Red Line Flags Before 9/11 Game
High School football players in Florida have been suspended from their team for carrying Thin Blue Line and Thin Red Line flags during their football game on 9/11 to honor the first responders who died during the attack on the World Trade Center.
One of the young men on the Little Miami High School football team is the son of a police officer, another, the son of a firefighter.
“Were you trying to make some kind of a political statement here?” a Local 12 reporter asked Brady Williams, a senior cornerback, who carried the Thin Blue Line flag.
Two Little Miami football players pay the price for civil disobedience. They were told not to carry onto the field thin blue line and thin red line flags at their 9/11 game. They did anyway. The school has now suspended them from the team indefinitely. #ThinBlueLine #ThinRedLine pic.twitter.com/19y9GAvaxr
— David Winter (@DavidWinterTV) September 14, 2020
“No,” he answered quickly. “Not at all. I was just doing it to honor the people that lost their lives 19 years ago.”
Jarad Bentley, whose father is a firefighter, carried the Thin Red Line flag.
“I was all for it,” he said. “Because my dad is a firefighter, and if it had been him killed on 9/11, I would have wanted someone to do it for him.”
The young men had asked the school for permission to carry the flags on to the field before the game, and the school refused. They were told that if they did, there would be consequences.
Still, the boys did it anyways.
“Listen,” Williams said. “I don’t care what my consequences are. So long as my message gets across, I’ll be happy.”
Local 12 reports that “Williams and Bentley heard from the athletic director Monday afternoon and received an indefinite suspension.” The station said that they had called the superintendent about the boys a few hours prior.
Superintendent Gregory Power claimed that they denied the boys’ request because they don’t want to “set a precedent” for “political” flags being carried out on the field.
“We did not want to place ourselves in a circumstance where another family might want a different flag to come out of the tunnel, one that may be [one that] many other families may not agree with from a political perspective,” Power claimed.