Corker ‘hopeful’ on approving new war-powers authorization for Trump administration

- Maret 14, 2018

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, is “hopeful” that his panel can approve a new authorization next month affecting the Trump administration’s war powers, he said on Wednesday.

Corker told reporters that he foresaw “a chance of being successful in April” at winning committee passage of a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force, underscoring that he couldn’t commit to a timetable to release a measure that has required intensive consultations with colleagues. “We've been working at it ever since we began this year,” he said.

His comments come as the Senate prepares to vote as soon as early next week on a bipartisan resolution that aims to force an end to the administration’s support for a Saudi-led coalition that’s engaged in the Yemeni civil war. That vote is likely to serve as a symbolic proxy for lawmakers’ long-running debate over ongoing U.S. anti-terrorism operations conducted under the authority of an AUMF that Congress approved in 2001.

Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) last year introduced an updated version of their revised authorization plan, which Corker said he expected to include “portions of” in whatever consensus measure he readies for committee action. He declined to delve into the details of the measure ahead of its release, saying only that “our goal is to find a sweet spot” that can win support in both parties.


Republican leaders are likely to balk at giving any floor time to a measure that restricts President Donald Trump’s war powers, and Corker acknowledged that he had no guarantee of floor time from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The new authorization has “got to get through committee first,” Corker said, adding later that he was still awaiting “input from the administration on some legal language.”


 

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