Congress must carry mantle of oversight



January 10, 2020 - 10:27 AM

Mike Lee, U.S. Senator from Utah

By thrusting the United States to the brink of war with Iran, President Donald Trump may have prodded congressional Republicans to the point where they are finally willing to push back. Trump has bullied them into compliance with his amorphous agenda and bizarre personal behavior. But when it comes to war, the stakes might be too high for Republican lawmakers to continue shirking their primary responsibility of providing oversight and checks on presidential power.

Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah hopefully will be the catalyst for a new GOP movement to stop tolerating Trump’s dangerous antics and finally start speaking out. What prompted him to take a stand was a closed-door briefing senators received on Wednesday on the so-called imminent threat that required the killing of a top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani. Lee described the 75-minute session as “probably the worst briefing I’ve seen at least on a military issue in the nine years” he’s been a senator.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, joined Lee in expressing outrage at the administration’s refusal to recognize Congress as a co-equal branch of government with the constitutional power to grant war-making authority.

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